Archives for category: music

Even though the marketers have been trying their darndest to co-opt this truth, I still believe stories will change the world.

I had the privilege recently of hearing some close friends share their stories of how God’s love has been real to them over the years. Our redeeming King is able to bring beauty from the burned out wreckage of our lives — and I see it in the faces and hearts of my friends.

Around that table, I shared how music has always been a part of my redemption story. Even when I hated “hypocritical” Christians and felt completely unmoored, His whisper was the dulcet melody calling clear through the noise.

There was a King who was more precious than silver, whose love was wider than oceans. When I finally began to understand the power of the cross — that Jesus understood our sorrow, pain, shame; that He never gave up on me; that real love is sacrifice; that Someone so amazing would die for us — the song Only the Blood was the soundtrack.

Only the blood of Jesus covers all of my sins
Only the life of Jesus renews me from within

I am thankful for the countless, talented, godly women & men around the world who are writing the songs the Church is singing. Yes, Christian music is an industry worthy of scrutiny (and, sometimes, heavy-duty eye-rolling). Yes, there is more to music that glorifies God than being “safe for the family.” And, yes, there are more ways to make God’s praises soar than with heavy reverb and delay-soaked guitars (banjos, for one!).

But, friends, no matter how jaded we become, let us hold fast to the One who was, and is, and is to come, before whom people from every tribe, nation, and language will bow down in worship, and let us sing!

Our God is infinite, yet intimate; mighty and merciful; creative and compassionate. Were all the skies of parchment made and all the oceans filled with ink, as the old gospel song sings, we would still only begin to describe how great is our God.

I need words as wide as sky
I need language large as this longing inside
And I need a voice bigger than mine
And I need a song to sing You that I’ve yet to find
I need You, oh, I need You
                                                             – David Crowder

Sometimes, it takes years to see the thread God has tied together, but wherever He is King there is beauty and soul and life:

Time and again, the words of the psalmist have been proven true:

You did it: You turned my deepest pains into joyful dancing;
You stripped off my dark clothing and covered me with joyful light.
You have restored my honor.
My heart is ready to explode, erupt in new songs!

It’s impossible to keep quiet!
Eternal One, my God, my Life-Giver, I will thank You forever.

With a name like “Destroy This Place” and sporting a font in the title sequence that might feel at home on an Earache Records album cover, no one would blame you for being ready to toss up some metal hornz as you queued up this track, Graves.

Don’t let the font fool you, though, friends.

This is 90s Chapel Hill indie rawk bliss, taking the torch from Superchunk (not Torche).

Fear the deer, support the D:

[h/t: Jason Evans]

An already wonderful Beirut song beautifully reimagined by Kishi Bashi for a string quartet.

Songs that speak this deeply to me inevitably turn my thoughts toward the music of our worship as followers of Jesus. We don’t need soaring chorus/delay-soaked electric guitars to create anthems of longing, beauty, and connection (although I’m certainly not opposed to tipping our hats to The Edge’s guitar electronic-wizardry).

Also makes me think I should’ve stuck with violin past middle school.

* * * * *

And, just for reference, the original by Beirut:

The season of Lent begins next Wednesday, February 13th.

As we enter this season of reflection and repentance, may all who are laid low in the dust be brought to life through our Savior.

From The Brilliance, Dust We Are And Shall Return:

I would encourage you to consider engaging a Lenten fast in which you make room in your heart for more of God and turn your heart outward to bless those in need.

Perhaps the Water for Water project from Living Water International to help bring clean water in Jesus’ name to some of the one billion people around the world who don’t have access to clean water.

I still haven’t caught one of their notoriously ear-splitting shows live, but My Bloody Valentine has just released their first album in decades.

While this track might not be Only Shallow (but, really, what is?), MBV seems to be back in fine, shoegazing form. Observe for yourself:

Droney guitars, buried vocals, swirling fuzz — let the mopey rejoice!