You see, I have a lot of catching up to do.
Ever since graduating seminary in 2010 I have hardly listened to any new worship music or even taken the time to learn "new" old hymns.
(UPDATE: If you are curious what songs made my final list, you can find them here:
The Best New Worship Music (according to PostConsumer Reports) )
I have been drawing from this incredible bank of songs, a church music encyclopedia compiled all throughout my youth, into my early twenties, and on into the phenomenal experience I had in seminary. There I ingested an smorgasbord of hymns and contemporary worship music that came out of places other than the norm of the Nashville music machine or the Vineyard churches.
But then I moved back home to Peoria, Illinois, with one kid in tow, eventually starting a church with another pastor and taking over as headmaster of a Christian school. I had two more kids, started writing a lot, self-released my music, and kept seeing both the school and church grow. In other words, I have not taken the time since seminary to learn new music, for my own personal worship of God nor for the church I lead songs in.
Over the past several months I have been compiling a list of songs, albums, and artists to listen to. I offer my list now to everyone as a resource, but especially to those wearied church music leaders who have no idea where to start learning new songs for the congregations to sing.
The list is long and I have only included a few links to artist pages or a few articles (which contain their own lists). Also, there are no descriptions of what the artist/album/song is about. We live in a wonderful age where all you have to do is type in the name of an artist and you should be able to find their music somewhere, from Youtube, to Bandcamp, to Soundcloud, to Spotify, to Itunes, to their personal website, it is out there MAN. So have fun and get to listening you behind-the-times irrelevant worship pastor!, either today or a year from now (so long as you book mark this page, of course).
Please note: This is NOT my recommendation list. It is my to-do list. These are everyone else's recommendations.
A special thanks goes to the good people on the Liturgy Fellowship Facebook Page, from whom most of these recommendations come. The page consists primarily of worship pastors and song leaders duking it out in the trenches of volunteer and paid music ministry. I am incredibly grateful for the overwhelming amount of recommendations over the past year and more.
Chris Juby https://chrisjuby.bandcamp.com/
Bifrost Arts https://bifrostartsmusic.bandcamp.com/
Coral Ridge Music https://coralridgemusic.bandcamp.com/
Page CXVI https://soundcloud.com/pagecxvi
Holy City Hymns http://www.holycityhymns.com/
Wendell Kimbrough https://wendellk.bandcamp.com/
Sandra McCracken http://sandramccracken.bandcamp.com/
Red Mountain Music https://redmountainmusic.bandcamp.com/
All Sons and Daughters http://allsonsanddaughters.com/
A New Liturgy http://soundcloud.com/anewliturgy
The Brilliance http://thebrilliancemusic.com/
Rend Collective http://rendcollective.com/
Robbie Seay Band https://robbieseayband.bandcamp.com/
City Alight http://cityalight.com/
Individual Song Recommendations—in no particular order
“Come as You Are” David Crowder
“Give Reviving” by Chelsey Scott via Indelible Grace
“In The Silence of Beginning” Chris Juby
"Isn't He Good" Sovereign Grace
"Mighty Fortress” Paul Baloche
"Come People of the Risen King" The Getty's
“Let the Nations Be Glad” Matt Boswell
“Your Joy” Josh Fox
“This I Believe (The Creed)” Hillsong
“Psalm 117” Jered McKenna
“Song of Moses” Aaron Keyes
“Look And See” The Village Church
"Show Us Christ" Sovereign Grace
"For the Sake of His Name" Chris Anderson
"No Longer I” Matt Redman
"Because He Lives" Matt Maher
"We will feast" Sandra McCracken
"Boldly I Approach", "Simplicity", "Build Your Kingdom Here" Rend Collective
"He Who Is Mighty" Sovereign Grace Music
"Christ Be All Around Me," "Oh How I Need You", "This is Amazing Grace", "We Give You Thanks", “Rising Sun”, & “God With Us Great” All Sons and Daughters
"Behold our God" Sovereign Grace
"Rejoice" Dustin Kensrue
"Forgiven Forever" Glenn Packiam
"Man of Sorrows" David Potter
"We Will Feast in the House of Zion" Sandra McCracken
“Good Good Father” Housefires
"Sin is Powerless" Ross King
"Never Fail" Anthony Evans
"I Will Sing of My Redeemer" by Coram Deo Church
All Sons and Daughters
“Prince of Peace” Hillsong United
“Look And See” Austin Stone
"None But Thee" Young Oceans//Trinity Grace Church
"The Lamb Has Overcome" Luke Morton.
"Come, O Come, O Quick'ning Spirit" Red River Hymnal
"Come O Spirit!" Bifrost Arts
"You Reach For Me" Sisterbrother
"Everything is New" Joel & Amy Davis
"When We Call Upon Your Name" Scott Cunningham Band
"Follow" Richie Havens
"Fisherman's Guide" Jonah Werner
"Hope Has Come" Sisterbrother
"All Ye Tenderhearted" Daniel Martin Moore
“Lord Thou Has Searched Me and Dost Know" #702 Hymnal 1982 (Episcopal Church)
"Lord Enthroned in Heavenly Splendour" set to Bryn Calafria
"Virgin Born, We Bow Before Thee"
“The Ocean” Matt Papa
“By Faith” The Gettys
“The Lamb Has Overcome” Luke Morton
“In the Beginning” Joel Payne, Resound Worship
“Come To The Feast” Jeff Lawson (TGC Luke album)
“Did Christ Over Sinners Weep” Indelible Grace
“Grace and Peace” Sovereign Grace
“Hast Thou Heard Him, Seen Him, Known Him?” Indelible Grace
“He Will Hold Me Fast” Matt Merker (Capitol Hill)
“My One Comfort” Dustin Kensrue
“Only Your Blood Is Enough” Sojourn
“We Are Not Overcome” Bifrost (Isaac Wardell & Robert Heiskell)
“Calvary” and “All Things New” Hillsong
“This Is Amazing Grace” Wickham, Farro, Riddle
“Cornerstone” Mote, Hillsong
“This I Believe” Hillsong
“All Must Be Well” Matthew Smith
“How Sweet to Wait” Red Mountain Music
“God the Spirit” Boswell & Stone
“My Savior's Love Endures” Magnificat, JJ Heller version
“A Prayer to the Trinity” Peters Branch Music
“O God of Our Salvation” Village Church
“Light a Fire” The Royal Royal
“Come Holy One” Trinity Grace
“Give Me Faith” and “Mercy Reigns” Elevation Worship
“The Mystery of Faith” Crossing Music
“The Solid Rock” The Dispatch/Mars Hill
“For the Beauty of the Earth” A New Liturgy
A list of “Best New Worship Songs” lists
Oh, yeah, and I still need to listen to the last three Chris Tomlin albums (get on with it kid!)
And finally, while you’re at it, go look at the current CCLI Top 200 list. There’s got to be something good on there, right? Please tell me there is?!_______________________________________________________________________
You can read my review on Matt Redman's latest album Unbroken Praise here.
More Recent Article on worship music:
The Golden Ages of Worship Music: Which One is Yours?
Worship Music's "Good Old Days": Featuring Vineyard Music, Delirious?, Revival Generation, and Darrell Evans.
Chasing the Ghosts of Worship Past—a worship leader's lament
Related Articles on Worship and Worship Music:
Assessing the Top 5 Worship Songs List
Ask a Worship #1: What is the great misconception about your job?
Why I've Never Sung Matt Redman's '10,000 Reasons' At My Church
4 Things I Learned About Worship By Being on a Podcast
5 Pieces of Advice For Matt Redman (not that anyone asked...)
Dear CCLI: Here are 5 ways you can become better