If you’re looking for a little extra encouragement to show your classmates and friends the light of Christ as you head back-to-school, then check out some of these bands’ newest album releases.
The Neverclaim: The Joy (Radiate)
The joy of the Lord carries us through any circumstance, good or bad, easy or difficult, invigorating or frustrating. It’s this joy that The Neverclaim focuses on during their second studio album The Joy. Frontman Jeremiah Carlson says, “Almost every song on The Joy is centered around the joy of the Lord as our strength [John 16:33]—our identity in Christ and the victory that’s won in Christ. Not that we shy away from the reality that living in a broken world affects all of us, but despite our hardships, we have access to a greater reality that fills our hearts with joy. We will face battles in life, but Jesus has won the war. We believe people are hungry for authentic joy, a joy that is not based on circumstances, but on the fact that God is for us, so nothing can be against us.”
Ghost Ship: Costly (Bec Recording)
In their newest album release, Ghost Ship breaks down the details of what it cost Jesus to sacrifice His life for our salvation. Thus demonstrating our significant value: we’re adopted by God to be His children, we’re broken sinners who are entirely forgiven, God relentlessly seeks us out when we’re desperately lost, we’re loved even when we don’t deserve it, God protects and provides for us, the list goes on and on. We cannot afford the salvation we’ve been given, which is why Ghost Ship offers us Costly, a presentation on how much God sacrificed to be with us. Leader Cam Huxford explains, “God’s love is the most costly thing in the universe, because it cost God’s own life. We want to acknowledge that we’re just reaching for ways to show how costly God’s love is. We’ll always fall short, and hopefully that just shows how big He is. Something that big is impossible to describe.”
ShineBright: Only You (Bec Recording)
ShineBright’s latest album release will penetrate through the darkest day, bringing radiant light into the hardest moment, the most negative media and the roughest situation. The band knows that Christ has called them to be a light in the darkness, and their album Only You is an incredible example of how they live out this call. Musically, their sound is upbeat and uplifting. Lyrically, their words speak of pursuing a deeper faith, loving God more boldly and trusting more fully in God’s glory.
TobyMac: This is Not a Test (Forefront Records)
Drawing directly from his faith in God and personal experience, This Is Not A Test is an essential reminder that we only have one shot at life. “What hits me now more than ever is that you really don’t get a practice run at life,” explains Toby. “This is it. In my friendships, raising my children, loving my wife, loving people, performing with my band and stepping on stage at arenas, I want to make every moment count.” Since it’s so essential for Toby to pour out all he has in making an album, he surrounded himself with people who challenged him to make the best album possible. Toby’s heart for collaboration is rooted in his belief that no matter where we’ve come from, we are better together then we are alone. “Collaboration takes us deeper,” said Toby. “There is a profound richness that happens when we come together and take the time to learn from each other’s perspectives. If you can work through the differences you enter into a world of richness that is unparalleled.”
Owl City: Mobile Orchestra (Republic Records/Capital CMG)
Mobile Orchestra, Owl City’s fifth full-length album, combines Adam Young’s sweeping vocals and boisterous, bouncy productions with a surprise artists persona or an expected musical adventure. Musically conceived everywhere from airports and hotels to tour buses, hence the title Mobile Orchestra, Young provides hopeful lyrics that tap into sentiment and emotions in which listeners can relate. Much of the album speaks of how Jesus draws near to His beloved. He relentlessly seeks out the heart of those He loves and He refuses to give-up and let go.