After blogging a few times about the need for conservative Christians to create (and not merely critique), I started receiving emails from blog readers doing just that.
I’ve heard from writers excited about the novel they’ve just finished, poets who make videos for YouTube, rappers infusing their songs with deep theology, songwriters who hope to record an album one day, and musicians who sing and play for the sheer pleasure they get in exercising their God-given talents.
I wish I could review and pass along all the neat things that flow into my inbox. It’s exciting to see the blossoming of art and music from people who love Jesus and want to reflect His glory through their work. It’s one of the reasons I decided to tackle fiction for my next writing project.
Here’s a sampling of some musical contributions that have come to my attention in recent months.
Husband-wife team, David and Licia Radford, have recently released their first EP - Where Eyes Don’t Go, a collection of six songs that borrow allusions from the imaginations of Tolkien and Lewis.
Musically, the style is folk-pop that provides the perfect backdrop to David’s vocal abilities. This album has grown on me the more I’ve listened to it. My favorites are “Gray Flowers” and “Train Station.”
Click here to purchase Where Eyes Don’t Go.
Grace Community Church in Nashville recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. As part of their celebration, the worship team recorded a new album filled with ancient and contemporary hymns.
The truths in these songs are rich, and the worship team’s treatment enhances the melodies so that the worshipful lyrics lead the listener into thoughtful reflection on the good news of what Christ has done.
It’s exciting to watch Lauren Chandler fulfill her passion to make much of Christ through writing and singing music. Her most recent project is The Narrow Place, a collection of songs birthed from and reflecting upon a season of trial in her family’s life and the sustaining faithfulness of God.
Here’s an interview with Lauren about the album.
I like when talented writers and musicians diversify and try their hand at new things.
N. D. Wilson is one of my favorite writers (see our conversation on truth and beauty, or his controversial take on The Hunger Games). He and Aaron Rench have collaborated on an album that will tie in with Wilson’s next book – a follow-up to Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl.
The rediscovery and repackaging of ancient hymns continues unabated, especially in the gospel-centered movement. While people like Keith and Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell, and Matt Papa compose new hymns, others are reworking old hymns for a new day. I’ve enjoyed the music of Red Mountain Church for their rescue of old, primarily unknown hymns from total obscurity.
Stephen Miller, one of the worship leaders at The Journey in St. Louis, has released an album of more-familiar hymns. The arrangements are good, and the instrumentation demonstrates that a church can be decidedly contemporary and yet fond of singing old hymns.