What you listen to affects you. There’s a reason we don’t listen to heavy metal music at Mass, and that DJs don’t use classical funeral marches to get people dancing at weddings. Not only that, but song lyrics make a difference in our moods and affect our beliefs. If most of the music you listen to is about falling in and out of romantic relationships, it’s going to affect your attitude about relationships. You’ll think about them more, for one thing. And you may subconsciously or consciously compare what’s happening in your life to what’s happening in the music — which might be harmful of there’s a mismatch in morals.
If lyrics are important, listening to artists who have similar beliefs and let those beliefs shape their music is indispensable. So, here are some Christian music recommendations that you may not be familiar with, sorted by moods. Some of these are artists who mainly write music about faith, but others are Christian artists who write music on all sorts of things, while imbuing it with their faith-centered worldview.
If you need something calming or reflective to listen to
Wilder Adkins is a Christian artist from Alabama whose original folk tunes on acoustic guitar are beautiful and prayerful. Check out his songs “When I’m Married,” “Gentle Woman,” and “Wrestle.”
Tow’rs is a newer band from Arizona and a family affair — made up of two married couples and a sibling. Check out the songs “Belly of the Deepest Love,” “Vanilla Pines,” and “Girl in Calico.”
Steve Bell is a Canadian Christian artist, and you can get a good taste for his songwriting and performing style by checking out his album, My Dinner With Bruce, or his album I Will Not Be Shaken (a collection of songs on the Psalms).
If you want something reflective, but more uplifting and fun
John van Deusen has a folk album, a punk album … and an album of hymns. His music has a lot of depth to it, and when paired with his skill at blending genres, it makes for good listening. Check out the songs “Always on Fire,”“No Limit to Your Love,” and “Masterworks.”
The Oh Hellos, well, you’ve probably heard of this group with their radio hit “Hello, My Old Heart.” Their album entitled Dear Wormwood references C.S. Lewis’ book Screwtape Letters. Also check out their song “Soldier, Poet, King.”
The Collection is a collaboration of different artists with a great sound. Try the songs“Dirt,” “You Taste Like Wine,” and “Some Days I Don’t Want to Sing.”
Josh Garrels has a memorable voice and some striking lyrics. Check out his album Love & War & the Sea in Between.
If you need to get pumped up
Kings Kaleidoscope has a ska sound but also blends many genres. Listen to the album Becoming Who We Are, especially the song “Defender.”
The City Harmonic is a Canadian Christian group with a pop feel. Check out their album Introducing the the City Harmonic.
NF is a Christian rapper. His lyrics are real, and his flow is awesome. Check out his album The Search.
Kanye West (who only recently started embracing faith in Jesus) has his new album Jesus is Lord. While his conversion is sparking plenty of commentary, consensus among believers and non-believers alike is that the album is terrific.
Who am I missing? I’m always on the lookout for new music, so let me know who else is out there to explore. Happy listening!
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