According to the trend in this fall’s new releases, it’s the perfect time to absorb God’s beauty and spend time praising Him. With a hardcore album, girl-centric county-pop album and some unique musical mechanisms added into the mix, this fall’s releases won’t bore your senses.
Brandon Heath – Blue Mountain (Provident Label Group)
We’ve grown to expect thought-provoking and intriguing songs from Brandon Heath and his fourth studio album Blue Mountain doesn’t disappoint. Heath’s lyrics capture our heart as we engage in his view of stories inspired by the culture of the Appalachian Mountains, a foundation for his childhood memories. “I like to write story songs and I like characters. I wanted to create some characters, but I needed a framework. In a conversation with my friend Al Andrews, who I always get a lot of song ideas from, he commented that he had read somewhere that some people can be like Blue Mountains. In the distance, they are mysterious and majestic and you can’t touch them, but when you get up close to them, you realize they are just brown and green. They aren’t blue at all. For some reason, that got my mind going. So, I started writing songs about different characters—the coal miner, the farmer, the guy who is on death row.” Heath stays true to his sonic pop beats but builds his sound on folksong roots providing a new tone to his modern sound.
Bebo Norman – Lights of Distant Cities (Bec Recordings)
Rest in unadulterated worship with Bebo Norman’s new album Lights of Distant Cities. His vulnerable lyrics provide an opportunity to experience God during moments of deep sorrow and thrilling adventures. “You can’t understand light unless you understand darkness, because that’s where life is most often lived – somewhere between the two. It’s messy and it’s beautiful all at the same time,” says Norman. Faith is a great mystery, one which we will never be able to solve in this lifetime, but Lights of Distant Cities reminds us of the hope we have in Christ Jesus.
The Glorious Unseen – Lovesick (Bec Recordings)
God provides clear direction for those questioning what the future holds, as The Glorious Unseen can attest. Through their faithfulness, God has guided them to various ministry opportunities around the world. After taking a hiatus from touring and recording to be involved at the International House of Prayer, Ben Crist has returned to the music scene with the release of the album Lovesick. The album is a continuation of The Glorious Unseen’s raw, honest and authentic reflection on living a life with Christ. A minute undertone of Emo and Hardcore presents itself in the bands intimate sonic palette due to Crist’s exploration of the Emo and Hardcore scene prior to his days as a worship leader.
The Wedding – No Direction (Tooth & Nail Records)
The Wedding joins Tooth & Nail to release their third full-length album No Direction. Known for their innovative songwriting and live performances, The Wedding provides a hard look at God’s provision for our lives. In a world full of self-reliant people, The Wedding reminds us that God is our strength. As they provide firm insight on seeking more out of life through Christ, their hardcore message cuts deep with penetrating rhythms and beats.
Poema – Remembering You (Tooth & Nail Records)
Pop, Country and Christ come together in the delicate and sweet sound of Poema. Sisters Elle & Shealeen Puckett, have created an album that will resonate with any female who’s felt criticized and judged. When in the midst of being criticized and judged, we must place our focus on God’s love, not on the voices we hear. This album is a beautiful reminder of God’s heart for his daughters. Remembering You radiates deep into the heart of the truest treasure of being Christ’s beauty and beloved along with the girly passion to find a life of love in one man. Listening to each track is like reading the artists journal with an array of songs about looking for love and longing for Mr. Right.
Derek Webb – CTRL (Fair Trade Services)
“Ctrl is based on a story I wrote with two of my closest friends,” says Derek Webb. “It’s an album about one man’s desire for something he cannot have because it isn’t real, the journey he goes on pursuing it and the costs of that journey. But essentially, Ctrl is both personal autopsy and cultural observation about how we use technology to try and control our lives, and my concern that it could ultimately have more control of us.” In the midst of this tug-of-war, Webb returns to the essence of life with a myriad of musical mechanisms including a nylon-string guitar, drum machines and Sacred Harp recordings which add layers upon layers to the theme of Ctrl.
Brenton Brown – God My Rock (Integrity Music)
When you long to sing praises to God in your living room, bathroom, car or bedroom, Brenton Brown’s album God My Rock is the album to have ready at a moment’s notice. God My Rock features six brand new songs and new versions of Brown’s worship classics, many of which were inspired by retreats and worshipful moments where we clearly see the Spirit was moving in and through Brenton. Each song is a reminder of God’s greatness, His desire to rescue us from darkness and His acceptance of us, no matter the condition of our heart.
John Mark McMillan – The Songs Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down (Independent)
John Mark McMillan presents his debut work, seven years after it’s original release. Initially sold out of his basement in 2005, The Songs Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down has been digitally re-mastered and re-mixed for it’s re-release. The Songs Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down features the never-before-released tracks “Hold On” and “Dancing On the Doors,” plus the original extended version and an alternate version of “How He Loves.”