Hawk Nelson: Diamonds (Fair Trade Services)
Hawk Nelson’s Diamonds presents an intimate reality of who Jesus is and what He does for us. Painting incredible pictures through word and driving sonic, Hawk Nelson provides a reminder that God walks with us everyday and He has a desire for us to live our lives to the fullest. Diamonds is a perfect album for happy days when our mood sets us in motion to praise the Lord, yet it also provides an uplifting vibe for days needing a necessary reminder of how incredible God is. This album will create a vibrancy in your heart that will reverberate throughout your body and into the world around you. He makes all things beautiful.
Jon Micah Sumrall: Faith & Family (BEC Records)
Kutless frontman Jon Micah Summrall steps away from the harder elements of the rock band and strips down to the most inner and intimate core of his being. In his solo album, Summrall presents an open and vulnerable offering to God while also expressing deep compassion for his wife. For all those who long for true love and devotion, seek out the heart of Faith and Family, because it’s a beautiful accompaniment to what God intends for our lives.
We Are the City: Violent (Tooth & Nail)
Chaos meets order is an adequate description of this band’s debut with Christian label Tooth & Nail. Their sound lines up with the sonic composition of Arcade Fire, both of which carry Canadian roots. In a peaceful way, Violent’s a great album for those days when destruction and disorder are evident. But, in an artistic scramble this album reminds listeners that there is a God that has tremendous power in the chaos and the order. The band describes themselves prominently as, “a sonic roller coaster filled with ups and downs, louds and quiets.”
Britt Nicole: REMIXES (Capital CMG)
Grab your girlfriends and put on those dancing shoes, or throw on a pair of sneaks and hit the ground running because Britt Nicole’s REMIXES will get your heart pumping and your body bumping. Like the originals, the remixes will leave you wanting to sing in the shower or in your hairbrush microphone as you revel in the joy and delight of God’s gifts in your life.
Among the Thirsty: Who You Say I Am (BEC Records)
There’s an obvious shift in Among the Thirsty’s debut album. The first half is an obvious love song of adoration and praise, while the second half is upbeat and uplifting. With deeper analysis, the second half notes to be derived from being pulled out of hard times and seeing the light on the other side. A perfect album to listen to when thirsty for love from a Lord who is fully devoted to His longing and lost daughters.
Passion: Even So Come (sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records)
Every year, some of the most renowned worship leaders come together to lead college students through sophisticated, yet beautiful praise to Lord at Passion Conference. Every year, the worship is captured and distributed. With Passion being a time for students to find rest from their busy college lives full of self-discovery, the album provides a reminder of God’s goodness and peace throughout the year. Embraced in a dorm room, apartment, bedroom in mom and dad’s house, in the car driving to work, at the library while doing homework, this album centers all who listen, rejuvenating spirits, bringing them back to the almighty.
NewSong: Faithful Live (Integrity)
With several years of WinterJam under their belt, NewSong produces a live album of their arena performances all centered around an atmosphere of worship. Songs were penned with the support of All Sons & Daughters, Elias Dummer from The City Harmonic as well as songs from Hillsong, Matt Redman and Desperation Band. Faithful is intimate yet anthemic in nature, bringing listeners to the heart of worship.
Matt Maher: Saints & Sinners (Essential Records)
For all those seeking who they are in Christ, Matt Maher’s latest album Saints & Sinners provides a wide open door to discovery. Our future is before us, unknown to us, but crafted, perfectly by an all knowing God. The Lord is forgiving, and through His forgiveness, a cleansing occurs – exposing our hearts to freedom, helping us to embrace the gift of God’s hope.
Holly Spears: Boots and Bling (Girl on a Mission Music)
“Boots and Bling is my attempt to get back to my roots and embrace who I’ve grown into,” says Spears. “I grew up in a little country town and dared to moved away from it at the young age of 18. I moved five hours away from everything I had ever known in pursuit of a music career. Back then, I couldn’t wait to move to the city. I grew up as a tomboy, and when I moved away, I became more ‘girly.’ Today, I’m a good mix of the two. For so many years, I rejected where I grew up, chasing someone I wasn’t,” says Spears. “Now, I am learning to be at home in my own skin and to embrace all the parts of me – the boots and the bling. My hope is that this album inspires everyone to be proud of who they are and where they come from and to know to their very core that they always belong.”
Death Cab for Cutie: Kintsugi Cassette (Atlantic Records)
With the departure of founding member Chris Walla, Death Cab for Cutie returns to the scene with a deep, methodical sound that resonates classic Death Cab. “KINTSUGI” takes its title from the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals highlighting cracks rather than hiding them. “Considering what we were going through internally, and with what a lot of the lyrics are about, [the title] had a great deal of resonance for us – the idea of figuring out how to repair breaks and make them a thing of beauty,” says bassist Nick Harmer. The album provides new intricately interwoven components that help the sound breathe with their classic synths and rhythms.