Friday, January 4, 2013

The Best Music You Never Heard from 2012

Around this time, last year, I wrote a post about the best albums that snuck out in 2011.  So, without committing to doing anything annually, I decided to post another round of great albums.  These are albums that you should take note of, not because they are great sellers, but because they are great music.

The Choir - The Loudest Sound Ever Heard
After three decades together, iconic alternative rock band The Choir is set to release their 14th studio album. The Loudest Sound Ever Heard, will release May 15th, 2012 on their own Galaxy21 label.

As one of the few bands left standing from the 1980’s SoCal music movement wave that swept nationwide more than 30 years ago, The Choir continues to make their renowned atmospheric music married to lyrics stirred by life’s inspirational lessons in the context of real relationships - love, despair, light, dark, hope, and recovery. Comprised of original members Derri Daugherty (lead vocal/guitar), Steve Hindalong (drums), Dan Michaels (saxophone/lyricon), and Tim Chandler (bass), The Choir thrived in the creation of The Loudest Sound Ever Heard.

Buy here

Josh Garrells - Love & War, The Remixes
An EP of B-Sides & Remixes & Additional Content connected to the full length album "Love & War & The Sea In Between".
Free download here.

Keith & Kristyn Getty - Hymns for the Christian Life
Keith and Kristyn Getty continue to write modern hymns for the church, but this collection comes from the challenge to consider not just what we sing on those occasions when we’re all together, but how the shared lyrics of our faith speak into all the moments in between.

Musically, Hymns for the Christian Life reflects both Celtic and American folk traditions, bringing old and new world together - much like we lean on the rich legacy of Church music we already have to create songs for the life of the Church today. This is their most personal album to date as it explores themes such as work, family, money, community and social action.  

Buy here.

Heather Headley - Only One in the World
Acclaimed by Billboard as "one of the great entertainers of the day," Tony award winner and multiple Grammy nominee and winner Heather Headley returns to the stage after ten years in the role of Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard: A New Musical - and returns in force with a new record stylistically encompassing her R&B roots and bigger than life Broadway flare. Only One In the World includes Whitney Houston’s famed songs "Home" and "Run to You" from The Bodyguard wonderfully recreated in Heather Headley style along with other well-known favorites such as "Mountain High, River Deep" and "Chicago."

Heather does not disappoint fans of new music either, as the record includes four never-heard songs. Following critically acclaimed performances on her top selling and Grammy award winning Gospel record Audience of One  (2009), certified gold debut CD, This Is Who I Am (2002), and her second critically acclaimed album, In My Mind (2006), Only One In the World continues the legacy of musical excellence and grace that is unmistakably Heather Headley.  

Buy here.

Newworldson - Rebel Transmission
Canadian quartet Newworldson return with their fourth full-length album, Rebel Transmission, teeming with fun, sunny melodies and an upbeat style. Adding elements of funk, soul, roots, and pop to their unique musical brew, the multiple award winning group offers positive lyrics of encouragement and faith on "Learning To Be the Light," "Sweet Grace," "Shake Holy Spirit," and more..

Buy here.


Bebo Norman - Lights of Distant Cities
Throughout his discography, singer-songwriter Bebo Norman has been applauded for laying it all on the table. Lyrically transparent and musically vulnerable, Norman’s music provides a common ground for the songwriter and the listener to collaborate in a discourse on life’s curious details, and how those day-to-day unknowns play into the greater mystery of faith.

With Lights of Distant Cities, Norman continues to stretch the musical arrangements to his often worshipful melodies. "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," Bebo says.

Here is an interview that I did with Bebo. 
Buy here.

Owl City - The Midsummer Station
A long way from his first experimental online musical posting, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Young explores new sonic avenues on his first-ever collaborative effort. Packed with catchy, pop-influenced electronica, The Midsummer Station incorporates drone, ambient and post-rock, along with musings about faith.
Buy here.

Rend Collective Experiment - Homemade Worship
A movement of friends is a hard thing to package. When something happens locally that is real and sincere, it probably doesn’t need the hype that the music industry can sometimes bring. The Rend Collective Experiment started in 2004 as a group of confused 20 somethings trying to figure out life, God and community. Then in 2007 it grew into a collective of musicians and artists trying to share with the world what they were learning. Music grown out of an “organic environment” and a bond between the members, not only as artists but as friends and family. They are about journey music that follows God’s heart and is for all, not just the religious!

A huge part of the ethos of Rend Collective Experiment is found in Amos 5 - “Away with the noise of your songs… Let justice roll like a river.” Its about generating money that can help those who are less fortunate, not making them charity cases but standing with the poor and oppressed in solidarity as one family. At the minute they have committed to give the profits of sales to a project in Gulu which we believe in greatly. Is this not the “fast” that God requires of us?

Buy here

The Vespers - The Fourth Wall 
2012 sophomore album from the Nashville-based Pop/Folk/Country quartet. With two sisters on lead vocals and two brothers filling out the sound, the foursome are distinguished by an arsenal of instruments and the kind of harmony only siblings can create. On The Fourth Wall, they create infectious Folk-Pop with both the buoyancy of youth and deeper spiritual themes. Most of the songs have the energy of a live show because the band polished them on the road, where they also came up with the album title. The fourth wall, in theatre terms, is the invisible wall between the audience and performers.
Buy here.