Culturally Relevant Music for the New Year
Fully Alive: IHOPKC (Forerunner Music)
Fully Alive is a multi-artist collaborative album birthed out of the community of worship leaders, musicians, singer and songwriters who gather together every year as part of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City songwriting camps. “Something powerful happens when God’s people come together to beautifully create music and when many voices join in song as one,” says Jonas Park, who co-produced the album with David Bollman. “There’s a quote that I think about often from Saint Irenaeus that says, ‘The glory of God is man fully alive.’ It’s like we’ve all had these individual breakthroughs with Him, and then come to together to celebrate Him ‘fully alive.'” As an expression of prayer, Fully Alive blossomed. “Our heart behind this album, from writing to production, was to bless God by creating together as a family,” continues Park. “We wanted to join our perspectives and strengths together—and then offer these songs to Him with love and deep gratitude.
Audrey Assad: Evergreen (Tone Tree Music)
Evergreen stems from a season of renewed creativity for Assad. Songs of rebirth and rebuilding as well as identity and discovery reveal themselves as Assad pushes through personal pain and brokenness. “Though I have remained a Christian nominally throughout my entire life, including these latter ‘unconvinced years,’ I can truly say I am being born again today as I realize on a deeper level than ever before that Christ is not a set of ideas or a law or a prophet or a priest, but the Person/Word of God about whom John waxed poetic and to whom all things point, in whom all things begin,” shares Assad.
Fireflight: “I Won’t Look Back” Single (Independent)
In the wake of the “Me Too” social media movement, Fireflight releases a single “I Won’t Look Back” as an anthem to victims of sexual misconduct. The song is meant to break the binds, isolation and shame that consume a person who has experienced such an assault. “Living in a culture that is often infiltrated by predators and wolves in sheep’s clothing, far too many have had their innocence stolen and dignity diminished,” says Fireflight lead singer Dawn Michele. “Silenced by fear, victims of sexual assault have been left shrouded in darkness with feelings of isolation and an understanding that no one is willing to fight for them. We, as a body of believers, must advocate for all those who have been used, marginalized and taken advantage of. God doesn’t want His children to live the rest of their lives trapped in the past, living as victims of tragedy and abuse. Jesus came that we would all have life and have it to the full. Let the cry of justice for the oppressed rise up and cast down every proud thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” This single is released during a time when the band is focusing on their families. While not touring as much, the band members will continue to record and release new music they feel passionate about sharing with their fans.