Taking a month or two off to really sit with some new music (you can read 2015’s “end of the year best-of” HERE), the NEXT playlist/blog is back in play. I’ve found a few lesser-known gems from newer artists, & a few major worship teams who consistently bring some of the best new songs to the fold. Also, as a reminder, I only make these Spotify lists so you can be introduced to new-to-you songs. If you like any of them, be encouraged to purchase them from iTunes.
“Brilliant Glory” – Allison Park Worship (chart available HERE)
David Santistevan, Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburgh is likely better known to most as a popular worship blogger, but Allison Park’s last CD – including the grade-A anthem “Undying Love” – made his a familiar name among worship pastors everywhere. APW’s latest release builds on their last, adding a layer of 80’s-retro electronics for vibe, but still featuring solid corporate songs. “Brilliant Glory” stands out from the rest because it is the perfect combination: unique feel/sound, memorable melodic hook, & a fresh take on the Bible’s proclamation, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” I can see this song working in a variety of churches & worship styles.
“Mountain to Valley” – Bread & Wine (chart available HERE)
Bread & Wine is Unhindered vocalist/keyboardist & Bethel ATL worship pastor, Ben Smith and his wife, Kelly. Together they write & lead powerful “prophetic” worship akin to Jason Upton on an early Coldplay kick. “Mountain to Valley” might not immediately strike one as corporate, but the “sticky-ness” of the chorus, the powerful bridge (“You take me in & You lead me out…”), makes this an epic spirit-filled ballad encouraging the church to TRUST RADICALLY. This song honestly ruins me.
“Faith of our Fathers” – Redemption City Church (chart available HERE)
In part I attempt to pick song not only based on whether they’ll be “the next big thing” 3 years from now, but based on the question: “Does the church NEED this song?” Regarding Redemption City Church’s “Faith of our Fathers”, the answer is a resounding “YES!” Co-written by accomplished songwriter, Redemption City worship pastor, & recent TWC contributor James Tealy, this song isn’t likely going to be the next Newsboys hit. It is almost consciously “unhip”, which is partially what makes it so hip – it isn’t trying to be cool, which makes it very cool in it’s own right. Carrying forward the all-too-rarely-sung theme of discipleship & passing along the faith to the next generation, “Faith of our Fathers” is a breath of fresh air in this current worship climate. I can’t wait to lead it!
“Fierce” – Jesus Culture (chart available HERE)
“Fierce” & “Everything & Nothing Less” are probably be most powerful songs that have appeared on a Jesus Culture release since their CD “Your Love Never Fails” was released back in ’08. Having already featured the later, I have been unable to shake “Fierce” these past few months & figured I should revisit the CD. A passionate song full of beautiful imagery (“Like a tidal wave
crashing over me…“), this one would work very well in a modern-rock worship setting.
“Draw near to Us” – Austin Davis (chart available HERE)
Stylistically reminiscent of Aaron Keyes last studio release, I’m not 100% this will work in a wide variety of churches, but I love the song & look forward to hearing more from Austin when his EP drops later this month. Well worth giving your consideration.
For a collection of past “NEXT” offerings you can listen HERE, & be sure to subscribe to this blog & the Spotify playlist to catch regular updates!