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Something True (feat. Jason Gray) (Single) by Juniper Vale Something True (feat. Jason Gray) (Single) by Juniper Vale
What You Need To Know
Juniper Vale is the alias for independent pop artist Sarah...
Believe For It (Live) by CeCe Believe For It (Live) by CeCe
What You Need To Know
Originating from Detroit, Michigan, CeCe Winans is an extremely...
Fully Alive EP by Future Divine Fully Alive EP by Future Divine
What You Need To Know
Austin Lyons is the lead singer of Future Divine. And he's...

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An Artistic Take on Christian Music | Posted April-01-2021
What You Need To Know

Juniper Vale is the alias for independent pop artist Sarah Jane. Sarah is a trained opera singer, as well as a banjo player. In 2016 she started releasing monthly singles leading up to her debut album, Everything Is Color. Sarah's work is a multimedia project; she combines whimsical comic-book-inspired album artwork, alongside her incredible songs. Her album covers features her illustrated dopplegänger and her giant turtle companion, Senelala, giving her fans a unique listening experience. She's currently working on a brand new follow-up album to her 2018 release and is working alongside composer Avery Bright (U2, OneRepublic), as well as Christian singer/songwriter Jason Gray. Recently Sarah teamed up with Jason for her latest single, "Something True," which dropped on March 19.



What it Sounds Like

As soon as I heard Juniper Vale's new single with Jason Gray, I immediately fell in love with the song and the whimsical world that Sarah creates through her album covers and music videos. "Something True" really is such a beautiful single. With Sarah's stunning vocals and Jason's incredible harmonies–plus the beautiful instrumentation and production of this song, "Something True" is sure to become a hit. This is a song that you'll want to have on repeat and an artist that you don't want to miss out on. I've already listened to "Something True" multiple times, and I'm sure I'll listen to it many more.



Spiritual Highlights

This new single was birthed out of intense anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. This song is comforting for anyone dealing with the stress that this past year has brought. "Something True" implies the fact that we all need love and a place where we're known and safe. Thankfully as Christians, we can find that in Jesus. He knows us, and He loves us so much. Luke 12:17 says that he knows the count of the hairs on our head. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He is the "something true" that we need in our lives.



Final Word

Overall, Sarah Jane of Juniper Vale and Jason Gray have released an inspiring and beautiful new song. I can't say enough good things about it! Her style is unique and is different from anything else that I've seen in Christian music before. I'm excited to see what's next for her (and for her giant turtle too, of course)! You can stream "Something True" now on Spotify and Apple Music.


 



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A Live Album Filled With Worship | Posted March-11-2021
What You Need To Know

Originating from Detroit, Michigan, CeCe Winans is an extremely influential artist in the music industry. CeCe Winans is a legend in Christian music circles, and throughout her 26-year career, she has won dozens of awards. She's an incredible gospel artist and has reached many people through her music. Her latest record Believe For It (Live) is a compilation of some of her original songs, alongside covers of other popular worship songs from bands like Elevation Worship, Bethel Music, and artists David & Nicole Binion. CeCe's new album is worshipful, and it capture's her striking vocals in every song.



What it Sounds Like

Believe For It (Live) is such an anointed and powerful album. I've always been a fan of live albums, but after a year where concerts and churches haven't been able to gather together, it's especially refreshing to hear live music again. This new record brings the atmosphere of a live concert straight to the comfort of your own home. You can hear the cheering from the crowd, and the harmonizing from the audience that you would hear at an actual gathering. CeCe's vocals on this record are stunning, and I love the songs featured on this new album. Every song is filled with worship and an overall sense of the presence of God.



Spiritual Highlights

The overarching theme throughout this album is desiring the presence of God, and living in awe of Him. "Hunger" and "Just To Be Close To You" both exemplify this theme. The whole album is filled with songs of praise, and every song points back to Jesus and who He is. Psalm 150:1-2 (NIV) says, "Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness." That's exactly what this album does. It's an album that praises God for what He has done, and what He's going to do next.



Best Song on the Record

The title-track "Believe For It" really stands out to me. It's a song that is filled with so much power and worship, and I love that. The lyrics in that song are all about believing that God can do things that are so much greater than we could ever imagine. You can hear the choir and the live audience, along with the drums that set the mood for the whole song. This song sounds the best when played live, and I'm so glad that it made it onto this record. "Move the immovable, break the unbreakable/God, we believe, God, we believe for it/From the impossible, we'll see a miracle"



For Fans Of

Bethel Music, BeBe Winans, David & Nicole Binion



Final Word

Overall, CeCe released a great live album. From the rerelease of her classic song "Alabaster Box," to her rendition of "Goodness of God," CeCe nailed this new album. Although I enjoy shorter/upbeat songs, I still believe that she released a really solid worship album. You can stream Believe For It (Live) now on Spotify and Apple Music.


 



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A Blend of Worship and Rock | Posted March-10-2021
What You Need To Know

Austin Lyons is the lead singer of Future Divine. And he's no stranger to Christian music. He was part of the California-based rock band I Am Empire, which stopped touring around 2013. After his time with I Am Empire, he entered ministry full-time and became a worship pastor. Now, Austin's back, and he's releasing music again under the alias Future Divine. His new record, Fully Alive, is a collection of songs that was birthed out of a dark season in Austin's life. Almost every song of this seven-track EP was written during a time when he was battling anxiety and panic attacks. His new album is honest and, as the title implies, is about discovering what it means to be fully alive.



What it Sounds Like

Having a background in both rock music and worship, Austin meshes the two genres together. The music is well arranged, and the lyrics are powerful and inspirational. "Child of God," a true anthem, is a song that I could see being sung in churches. Future Divine's sound is different from I Am Empire's, but you can tell that Austin still derives some inspiration from his old band. In "Show Me How To Live," you can hear some of that rock sound in the guitar riffs. Fully Alive is a refreshing take on worship music.



Spiritual Highlights

Throughout this record, there's a theme of how much we need God. Since most of these songs were written during a time when Austin was experiencing anxiety, it makes sense that this is a huge theme in these songs. "Fully Alive," the title track, is a reminder that God has saved us, and will continue to save us. The song is about surrender and trusting that God will come through for us. It's one of the slower, yet powerful, tracks on the record. Our need for God is a truth that is written everywhere in the Bible, and I love that it's also written all over this album.



Best Song on the Record

"Show Me How To Live" would have to be the best song on the record. It's an honest song, and it's so relatable. It deals with the uncertainty and doubts we all have. It's a prayer asking God to show us how He would want us to live. It's a definite anchor during seasons of difficulty. I also really love the album's guitar riffs. I'm a big fan of alt-rock, so Austin adding some alt sound is a nice touch. Standout lyrics: "Show me how to live like You lived/Show me who You are/Light from battle scars"



For Fans Of

Sean Curran, NONAH, Kutless



Final Word

Overall, this new record from Future Divine is well packed. It's exciting that Austin is beginning to release music again. And hopefully, there's more music in store. You can stream Fully Alive on Spotify and Apple Music.


 



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A New Hit Album from Joel Vaughn | Posted January-27-2021
What You Need To Know

Joel Vaughn is a contemporary Christian artist who has been releasing music since 2008. Having grown up in church, he always dreamed of creating music and leading people to Jesus. Now that's exactly what he's doing. Joel is both a worship leader and has a career in Christian music. Joel has released many more singles and albums since his 2008 release Bigger Than Me, and now he's back with his brand new album Louder Than The Lies. This new collection of songs features twelve tracks, including his hit single "Already Done." Joel's music is contemporary and melodic, and his lyrics are meaningful.



What it Sounds Like

Joel has a sound that's very similar to Josh Wilson. I haven't been familiar with Joel's music for very long, but I'm glad I listened to it! His style could easily be described as classic Christian pop. His music sounds familiar, and could easily be compared to a lot of other contemporary Christian artists. But at the same time, his music sounds so new, and his vocals are different from the rest. While "Satisfied" is a song that has a worship feel to it, "I Would Be Lost" is an upbeat and catchy song. There's a range of tempos throughout this record, and it shows what Joel can do.



Spiritual Highlights

The theme of making the most of our time pops up a few times in this album. "Make The Most Of It" and "Details" showcase this theme. Those two songs share how short life is, and how we need to continually make the most of our lives. God can always turn our pain into possibility if we let Him, like Joel shares in "Make The Most Of It." 2020 proved how short life is. After a year that changed everything, I think we all need to be reminded that we should be making the most of every opportunity. I love that this is a theme in this record because it's so important to remember.



Best Song on the Record

The best song on the record would have to be "New Life." It, again, brings up the theme of living life to the fullest. "New Life" invites listeners to view life from a new perspective. Instead of taking things for granted, we can find joy in the ordinary. Once we view life through God's eyes, we'll see everything differently. That's what this song is all about. "I wanna see the world looking through Your eyes/what if in the ordinary You were sharing beauty in disguise/I wanna finally live like I've got a new life, cause I've got a new life"



For Fans Of

Josh Wilson, Dan Bremnes, David Dunn



Final Word

All-in-all, Joel unveiled an album that is sure to appeal to any contemporary Christian music fan. Although I would have loved to see a few more upbeat/pop-focused songs, Joel still released a great record. You can stream Louder Than The Lies on Apple Music and Spotify.


 



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A Catchy New Single | Posted January-25-2021
What You Need To Know

Vaughn Owens is a new independent pop and contemporary artist from Gadsden, Alabama. And, she's catching the attention of many in the independent circles. In 2019, Vaughn released her debut singles "Need to Know" and "Should've Known Better," followed by her self-titled EP later that year. Since then, she's continued to release incredible Christian pop music. She just dropped her latest single, "In The Middle." Her style is similar to Christian contemporary artist Britt Nicole's style. Her songs are relatable and relevant to today's generation. Aside from her music career, Vaughn is a worship leader. And, she's married to her husband Logan, a youth pastor.



What it Sounds Like

Vaughn has a great pop sound; "In The Middle" is a great example. Her vocals are bold, and her songs are fresh and new. "In The Middle" really brings out her captivating vocals. It's vulnerable and honest, which makes it different from most other pop music. While still being catchy, this single has a great message. It has a fun and upbeat vibe to it. It definitely belongs on a summer playlist.



Spiritual Highlights

Like in all of her songs, "In the Middle" points back to Jesus in a powerful way. It speaks of how Jesus will meet us in the middle of our circumstances. None of us are perfect. We're all broken. We all need Jesus to meet us where we are. I love that Vaughn chose that message for this song. It's so important, and it's an encouraging reminder of God's love and grace. "We all have stories we're hiding from/But that's where mercy finds all of us/us, us, us in the middle, grace and love in the middle/You find us in the middle."



Final Word

Overall, Vaughn released a great new single. The song has grown on me. I can't wait to see what's next for Vaughn, and what music she'll come out with next. Stream "In The Middle" now on Apple Music and Spotify.


 



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A Debut Album Filled with Hope | Posted January-20-2021
What You Need To Know

Michael Cochren of Cochren & Co. is from a small town in Indiana, and music has been part of his life from a young age. Michael signed onto Gotee Records and released his hit song "Church (Take Me Back)." After that release, he quickly became an influential artist. That song caught the attention of radio, and since then, he's had multiple radio singles. Don't Lose Hope is Michael's debut album and features a total of 13 brand new songs. The album features tracks like "Who Can," "Grave," and of course, "Church (Take Me Back)." The entire record is centered around the idea of holding onto hope, despite difficulties that may arise.



What it Sounds Like

Cochren & Co.'s new album has a great pop/contemporary sound to it. His style is similar to Micah Tyler's, and this new album reminds me of Micah's record New Today. This album has a lot of fun and upbeat songs, as well as some mellower ones. Michael has an incredible voice, and this whole album is well produced. I love the jazz noted incorporated into songs like "Don't Lose Hope," and "I Got You." These songs are so great, as well as harmonious. All-in-all, Cochren & Co. released a strong debut album.



Spiritual Highlights

Like the title implies, there's an obvious message of hope in this record. That's one of the biggest themes. (If you're going to name an album Don't Lose Hope, I think it has to be!) "He's Not Here" reminds us all of how God has rescued us, while "One Day" gives us the hope that this world isn't our final home. All of these songs are beautiful, and there are so many highlights that you can pick out of this record. From songs with messages about childlike faith to songs that remind us that God is in control, these songs are all rooted in biblical principles.



Best Song on the Record

The song "Young" really stands out to me. Sometimes we can get so carried away by the pain and stress of life, that we can lose sight of Jesus. It shares that we can always run back to Jesus, our first love. This song points to the childlike faith that we all need, and that we all had when we were young. It's a great song, and it's one of my new favorites from Cochren & Co. "I wanna run to You like a child to his father/when it all was new and my heart was full of wonder/give me a childlike faith, a joy that takes me back to my first love"



For Fans Of

Micah Tyler, Ryan Stevenson, Rhett Walker



Final Word

Overall, Cochren & Co. released an awesome new album. But I'll be honest: when I first heard Cochren & Co.'s music back in 2018, I wasn't the biggest fan. However, now that I've heard the whole record, I truly love these songs. I'm excited to see what's next for Michael Cochren and Cochren & Co.! You can stream Don't Lose Hope on Spotify and Apple Music.


 



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A Worship Album That Will Multiply Your Hope | Posted January-06-2021
What You Need To Know

Over the past ten years, Brett Perkins has been leading worship at various camps and events. Brett, his wife, and three children reside in Lebanon, Tennessee where he's the worship pastor of The Journey Church. Brett's no stranger to the Christian music scene and has been releasing EPs and singles since 2013. This new solo album, Hope Multiplied, is Brett's first full-length record and is full of songs that are, like the title implies, filled with hope. Brett has truly committed his life to lead people to Jesus, and that can be seen in all of his music.



What It Sounds Like

Brett has released a great, biblically rooted collection of songs. This whole record is permeated with reverence and awe for God. It features a mix of both up-tempo and slower music, that young and old alike will be able to enjoy. From "I Put My Trust" to the title track "Hope Multiplied," this record features a range of tempos, yet with an emphasis on worship in every song. Whether you want to lead these songs at your local church, or just want to listen to a great worship album, there's a song for everyone on Hope Multiplied.



Spiritual Highlights

This album has various spiritual highlights, mainly rooted in the character of God. "Never Far Away" shares how God is close to all of us (Acts 17:27), while "You Have Brought Us Through," tells of God's faithfulness, and how He's working everything for good (Romans 8:28). There are so many great highlights that you can pull from these songs, because they're all relatable, and they all point back to Jesus. There's a message written throughout these tracks of the saving power of Jesus.



Best Song on the Record

"You Can Still Use Me" was one of the first songs I listened to from Brett, and it hits home for me. Even when we don't feel worthy to live out the calling that God has placed on our lives, God will still use us. Even when fear creeps up in our lives, and we're feeling weighed down by our mistakes, God can still use us. It's so relevant for us today because at some point we've all felt unworthy of what God has placed in front of us. But because of all that Jesus has done for us, He can still use us. That's what this song is all about, and it's my favorite one on this record. "When I look inside this heart of mine/I can't see beyond my own pride/crazy as it seems, You can still use me"



For Fans Of

Bellarive, The Afters, Travis Cottrell



Final Word

All-in-all, Brett released a great album. Sometimes it can be hard for me to find a good worship album outside of my favorites (Passion, Hillsong, etc.), but Brett brought an amazing worship album to the table. I was pleasantly surprised by his music, and I'm excited to see what's next for him. You can stream Hope Multiplied now on Spotify and Apple Music.


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An Impressive EP from a New Indie Trio | Posted November-24-2020
What You Need To Know

NONAH is a brand new independent band made up of husband and wife duo Wes and Callie Strunk, alongside producer/musician Nate Johnson. Although this trio is new to the music scene, they've already been releasing impressive songs that sound clean and professional. Their goal as a band is to see people fall in love with Jesus and worship God with a childlike passion and purity. Their lyrics are meaningful, and all of their songs have a catchy pop tune to them. The band released their debut single "Assurance" on November 7, 2019, and released their debut EP Jump on November 13, 2020. Jump features five new pop songs, including their singles "Assurance" and "Alive."



What it Sounds Like

NONAH's new EP is filled with upbeat and inspirational pop songs. From front-to-back, every song points to Jesus. NONAH has a definite pop-driven sound, with some elements of worship in it as well. Although the band is independent, their music is high-quality and very well produced. This new EP Jump is extremely impressive and displays the heart of this new band.



Spiritual Highlights

There's a consistent theme throughout this collection of songs of trusting in Jesus and resting in Him even through the chaos of life. For anyone who's going through uncertainty, these songs are for you! "The River Bows" brings out the theme that we can surrender all of our fears to Jesus because His promises never fail. Romans 8:31b (NIV) says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" NONAH uses this verse in "The River Bows," and it truly has so much significance.



Best Song on the Record

I honestly loved every song on Jump, but the title track stands out to me. It's both catchy and has a great message to it. The lyrics are beautiful and relatable. It's all about falling into the arms of Jesus and stepping out into the unknown. "You keep telling me I'm made to fly/I'm gonna jump into Your arms, into Your arms/I'm gonna give You all of me, everything"



For Fans Of

For All Seasons, Switch, Elevation RHYTHM



Final Word

Overall, NONAH has released a great project with so much to enjoy. I'm so excited to see what God has next for this new band. I'm sure this EP is only a preview of what's in store for fans in the future.



You can stream Jump now on Apple Music and Spotify


 



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A New Pop Artist to Keep Your Eye On | Posted October-31-2020
What You Need To Know

Coby James is a brand new artist from North Carolina. Although only 18, he's already signed to major Christian record label Centricity Music and has already toured around the country with contemporary hitmaker, Danny Gokey. Coby released his debut five-song self-titled EP in 2019. And, since then, he's released an acoustic project, as well as singles that are now on his new EP Homesick. His music has been quickly gaining the attention of many Christian music fans, with over 37,000 views on his hit single "Born Ready" on YouTube. Coby James is an artist to keep your eye on as his audience continues to increase rapidly.



What it Sounds Like

Coby's music has a great pop sound (it sounds like Cade Thompson and Jordan Feliz). His songs speak into the longing and homesick feeling we all have for heaven. And, each song helps paint a picture of who Jesus is. The lyrics in Coby's songs are meaningful, pointing back to our Savior. These new songs from Homesick are filled with pop hooks and catchy beats. I'm sure that fans will love these new tunes. If you're a fan of contemporary Christian, as well as pop music, you'll want to check out this EP.



Spiritual Highlights

There's a theme throughout this album of how great God is, and how He is beyond our understanding. You can hear Coby's heart in these new songs. There are so many spiritual highlights in each one. "Whatever" really draws out these highlights, in particular. It's a song about how God's ways are higher than ours. And, how His dreams are so much better. Isaiah 55:9 (NIV) says, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9 is one of my favorite verses. I love that Coby pulls a lot of inspiration from it in this song.



Best Song on the Record

"Born Ready" would have to be the best song on the record. It's a fun and upbeat song, with an even more important message to it. This song is an inspiring example of how, in Christ, we don't need to be afraid to live out the calling He's placed on our life. No matter how old you may be, you can still live the life God wants you to live. Coby speaks of that in this song. "I know I am young, but I'm not waiting on anyone to tell me who I am/You call me out/You raise me up/Standing on the rock and now I'm feeling steady"



For Fans Of

Apollo LTD, Cade Thompson, Jordan Feliz



Final Word

For being a new artist, Coby released an impressive new EP. There's no doubt that he's is going somewhere, and I'm excited to see what God has in store for his music. Although it would have been great to have a few more ballad-type tracks on this album, Coby still released a great sophomore EP. You can stream Homesick now on Apple Music and Spotify.


 



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A Fun and Jolly Irish Album | Posted October-20-2020
What You Need To Know

Rend Collective, a worship band from Northern Ireland, has been making music since 2007. The band began as Rend Collective Experiment. And, under that name, they released two albums. Since then, they've released many more albums that fans have come to know and love. The popular band has toured all over the world, bringing joy to their fans at each show. Rend Collective released their first Christmas collection,
Campfire Christmas, in 2014. For the 2020 season, the band has released a second Christmas album: A Jolly Irish Christmas, a collection of songs filled with remakes of old Christmas classics.



What it Sounds Like

These new Christmas songs, filled with jolly and joy, fit the album title. The music comes complete with the Rend Collective sound: bagpipes and other Irish instruments. I love Christmas music. Some people may say that it's too early for holiday music. But, I love that Rend Collective chose to release Campfire Christmas in October. It's both fun and festive and will put you in the Christmas spirit.



Spiritual Highlights

Rend Collective always makes much of Jesus in all of their songs, and this new album is no exception. The message of the birth of Jesus can be heard in almost every song. Oftentimes, Christmas albums put the story of Jesus off to the side. But, Rend Collective puts the Good News of Jesus's message front and center on this album. From "The First Noel" to "Today Is The Saviour's Day," the story of Jesus is displayed from front-to-back. Rend Collective released an impressive album filled with spiritual highlights.



Best Song on the Record

"Silent Night (Be Still)" is the best song on the record. "Silent Night" is one of my favorite classic Christmas songs, and I love this remake that Rend Collective did of it. The band put their spin on it with an added chorus. It's a beautiful and peaceful song that I know I'll be listening to for many more holiday seasons to come. "Be still my heart, be still my mind/May I still see the magic of that silent night/Fill me with wonder, keep mystery alive/May peace on earth be my song tonight."



For Fans Of

We Are Messengers, Urban Rescue, Hillsong UNITED



Final Word

Overall, I love this album that Rend Collective released. In all honesty, Rend Collective's music isn't normally my style. But, this Christmas album truly is a wonderful collection of songs. I hope that they'll release more Christmas music in the future. But, for now, put up the Christmas tree, crank up the volume, and enjoy some new Rend Collective Christmas music for the season.



Stream A Jolly Irish Christmas now on Apple Music and Spotify.


 



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