Looking for new music? Look no further.
This isn't comprehensive, and it's pretty much all in the indie-folk genre, but if here are some bands and singer-songwriters who will inspire you with their sound and lyrics.
If you don’t know this band, you need to be listening to them. Now. Not only do they have a beautiful sound (despite a 7-track album, we can forgive them that), but "Belly of the Deepest Love" in particular has a sophisticated and subtle beauty. Also, it’s actually about Good Friday.
“Do you remember back on that day/ When the trees swayed in the same way/ How the clouds hung low over kings and thieves/ How your mother stayed by your side/ Watch the curtain tear in your eyes/ All the heavy hearts could have cracked the ground/…Like the flowers on a dogwood tree/ blush with blame you took for me/ oh, how you wish to be with me/”
Click the link to listen on Spotify:
2. Roo Panes
His lyrics are poetry. His arrangements are beautiful. This is one of those rare artists that few people know about, but when you discover him, it’s life-changing. Every song has a profoundly deep meaning with layers applying to so many situations of life. He doesn’t know Jesus, but his songs are definitely about Him. This song in particular shows the beauty of how God sees us.
“Well you know me with that ancient gaze, strip me down with yesterday’s eyes/ You know me as I was, you see me as I will be/ And I still had a lot of growing when you took me and you shaped me with those hands/ You know me better than myself, make me better than I am/…When I think upon my past, I see I loved you many years before you came/ …And you saw what I could be, please teach me how to be what I was made to be/”
3. Jose Gonzalez
Not quite as profound as Roo Panes, but hey, Jose is solid. He has a hopeful tone (“See old tracks lead you out from the dark/ See old tracks lead you up to the stars”) and — if the mountains had a voice, they would sound like him. (Don’t ask me why, it’s just great mountain music.)
4. James Bay
His soulful sound and upbeat tunes are irresistible. This song in particular is about getting to know someone deeply.
5. Brooke Fraser
Fraser said, “Someone once told me truth is often two opposing things held in tension…and with [my new album] I’m exploring those opposites and everything in-between, both lyrically and sonically.” Her album is about “the poetry in trauma. The beauty in banality. The necessity of both the wrestle and the embrace.”
Fraser’s sound is refreshing in it’s sunshine-y tone, as well as the depth of her lyrics. This is an older song, but definitely still a goodie.
6. Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
With a little bit of folk, a bit of bluegrass, and a bit of soul, this band is a well-rounded listen.
7. Stu Larsen
He's one of those Christian artists that isn't your typical Christian artist. His music is actually good. (Sorry for the dig.)
8. Sufjan Stevens' new album, Carrie & Lowell
Lots of people are already listening to Sufjan, but his new album is a return to his original folk sound, and this song is pure gold.
9. The Oh Hellos
Again, one of those bands that lots of people are listening to already, but they’re the kind of artist that never gets old — both in their sound and in the profound meaning to their songs. Like, this one: on one level, about Adam and Eve. On another, about romantic love. On another, the Eucharist.
“I was sleeping in the garden when I saw you first/ He'd put me deep, deep under so that he could work/ And like the dawn, you broke the dark and my whole earth shook/…At last, at last/ Bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh, at last/ …And like the dawn, you woke the world inside of me/…And you will surely be the death of me/ But how could I have known?”
Seryn is a recent discovery for me. Still up the folk alley, but I was impressed with their harmonies and upbeat sound — on top of that sound, the lyrics in this song about change speak to trying to change our culture.
“We can shape but can't control/ These possibilities to grow/ Weeds amongst the push and pull/ Waiting on the wind to take us/ We can write with ink and pen/ But we will sew with seeds instead/ Starting with words we've said/ And we will all be changed”
Any other suggestions? Leave a comment!