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  • STATE INSPECTION

    Johnny Anomaly, Whispers and Screams (2017) / JohnnyAnomaly.com
    The art of spoken word is an acquired taste for many, and it's no small feat to be great at it. Many try their hand at it, but few ever really succeed. In 2017, there's a new poet throwing his hat into the ring, and his name is Johnny Anomaly. This year alone, he's released a single entitled "Wings," an EP entitled Nothing To Prove, Nothing To Lose, and his debut, full-length album back in January, entitled Whispers & Screams. Of course, with so few successful artists in the arena, it's difficult to not draw comparisons here. Levi the Poet and Jackie Hill Perry do come to mind when listening to different portions... Read the Full Review

    Spoken Word

    Acoustic Truth, Impact (2017) / AcousticTruthOfficial.com
    Acoustic Truth is the musical project of husband and wife duo Ryan and Sarah Knott. The Chicago-based couple makes acoustic based music -- with contemporary, country, pop influences -- with the hopes of bringing back heartfelt music they feel has been lost over the years. The two also remain ministry focused as they play as the praise band for their church. Though Sarah sings mostly lead, the Knotts' voices blend nicely together and complement each other well. The overwhelming majority of Impact is soft and mellow... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Folk

    All Above North, How Great It Is to Be Broken (2017) / AllAboveNorth.com
    The early 2000's was an amazing time for music: rock had evolved into so many denominations and expressions that it collided with pop, hip-hop, country, etc. Furthermore, worship music started to grow and change into a more mainstream sound leading to the explosion of Hillsong, Passion and Crowder, among other progressive pioneers. These incredible trailblazers have led to an ever-growing number of worship artists and bands. Adding to that growing fold is Australian based indie band All Above North with their debut album... Read the Full Review

    Rock

    Rachel Moore, Insanity (single) (2017) / MusicByRachelMoore.com/
    Throughout human history, mankind has looked up to the sky and asked "Why?" It's a question Rachel Moore became very familiar with; as she struggled through years of depression, illness, and doubt, she kept asking God "Why?" When He inevitably brought Moore the victory He had planned for her, He led her to being a counselor, an author, and then a singer/songwriter. Teaming up with her musically-gifted husband, Rachel Moore began writing songs for a full-length album. Before the album's release, she's testing the water with a couple of singles, the newest of which is called "Insanity... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary Pop

    Seth Nelsen, Victory (2017) / SethNelsen.com
    Seth Nelsen is a worship leader at House Church in Eagan, Minnesota and has had a desire to record an album for many years. Nelsen's goal in writing and recording an album is to reach others across the globe, and not just those in his local congregation. Nelsen had been working on Victory for a few... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Jason Whitehorn, As Long As I Have Breath (2017) / JasonWhitehorn.me
    A singer/songwriter from Nashville with years of experience in the music industry, Jason Whitehorn has only recently released his first solo album, As Long As I Have Breath. Stylistically, the majority of the album, including Whitehorn's vocals, is very much akin to Jeremy Camp. Whitehorn's voice isn't as deep as Camp's; it's more in the tone of the voice that you can hear the resemblance. The album is worshipful in nature, with a few reimagined hymns and several songs about God making all things new and being with us at all times... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock

    We Live Forever, We Live Forever (2017) / WeLiveForever.co
    We Live Forever is an acoustic and electronic based worship band, featuring Robert Steele, based in California. The group's self-titled debut released last month and, according to the band, looks to take the listener on a journey of Jesus's beauty, grace, and mercy. Acoustic guitar dominates the album, but piano, keyboard, and electronic instruments complement it throughout. Musically, the album has highlights, with the upbeat acoustic track "Faithful and True," the 70s rock flair of "Moon," and the more open, airy and light feel of "From Above... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Worship

    Teressa Mahoney, Made New EP (2017) / TeressaMahoney.com
    Teressa Mahoney is a singer/songwriter from Colorado with nearly 30 years of experience singing. From youth group worship bands to national conventions, singing wasn't just a hobby, but a passion for Mahoney. After taking some time to focus on her marriage, children, and graphic design career, Mahoney learned how to play a guitar and started singing again, leading to an opportunity to write and record her debut EP, Made New. Mahoney establishes her sound early on; despite being... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary Pop

    The Arctic, Reverberate EP (2017) / Bandcamp
    Canadian band The Arctic released their debut EP, Reverberate, in August. While the group lay claim to the title of "worship band," their musical output doesn't immediately bring that to mind. The EP opener (after an ambient intro), "Searchlights," is really upbeat and -- while it's unashamed in its messaging -- doesn't play out like the worship music you'll hear today. The guitar lead in the title track is a nice one, but the song shifts more to that "worship" style of music... Read the Full Review

    Worship / Folk Rock

    Sophie Stiles, Chartreuse EP (2016) / Bandcamp
    Sophie Stiles is a singer songwriter from Oregon who is offering up her coffee house style of acoustic music. While her folk inspired songs feature full instrumentation, each one would play nicely with just a single guitar. Stiles' six-song debut, Chartreuse, is a nice introduction to not only her music, but her heart as well. The most interesting tracks present on the album revolve around Biblical figures. Chartreuse opens with "The Calling of Jeremiah." Sophie takes a look at the Prophet Jeremiah's calling to go speak to Israel as a child... Read the Full Review

    Acoustic / Folk

    Company of Saints, Programmer EP (2017) / Facebook
    Company of Saints is a SoCal worship band that specializes in pop sounds with synths and other tricks. The duo features the husband and wife combination of Julia and Mark Palmer. Their newest release is a 5-track EP, titled Programmer. The entire EP is pretty mellow overall and gives off a very relaxing vibe from front to back... Read the Full Review

    Electronic / Worship

    Echoboy, Not Alone EP (2017) / EchoboyMusic.com
    Echoboy's three-song Kingdoms EP drew positive reviews from Jesusfreakhideout last year and now the band is back with their five-track follow-up, Not Alone. The pop-rockers (with a heavy emphasis on the pop) have released another collection of songs ready for today's CCM radio. Catchy hooks and near flawless production have them primed for a major breakout. While the title track and "Livin For Love" are a nice start, "Shine On" is absolutely screaming for play on K-LOVE and local stations alike. Not only is it the most versatile track musically, but it's... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock

    Company of Saints, Face to Face (2017) / Facebook
    For almost a decade now, husband/wife duo Mark and Julia Palmer have been spreading the Gospel to Southern California through their music. Operating under the name Company of Saints, the Palmers have been creating music and giving it away for free through their own independent record label, Royal Laundry, as well as through... Read the Full Review

    Electronic / Worship

    Chris B. Young, Jesus Christ: Prince of Life (2017) / ChrisBYoungSongs.com
    There are lot of people who have a passion for creating music, but seem to lack the talent to actually play any instruments or sing. Chris B. Young has no problem admitting to having this issue, but he doesn't let that stop him. On his debut album, Jesus Christ: Prince of Life, listeners encounter a full-length album, the lyrics of which were entirely written by Young himself. But that's all that you'll hear from him, as all the instruments and vocals are courtesy of other musicians and singers... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary

    Eric John Smith, Prodigal Son (2017) / Facebook
    Eric John Smith is a singer/songwriter/musician from the land of Mickey -- Orlando, Florida. Smith has been in multiple bands over the years, but in all his endeavors, he strives to give God the glory first and foremost. Prodigal Son is Smith's second release following 2016's Mountain Be Moved. Smith lists his main influence as Jason Martin and Starflyer 59. While the music is much more acoustic than Martin's SF59, the vocal approach definitely displays the influence. Musically speaking, Prodigal Son is an excellent listen... Read the Full Review

    Indie Rock

    Richard Meals, From Today (Single) (2017) / Facebook
    Living in and around cities like Nashville, Tennesse and Austin, Texas for a large portion of your life is sure to bring out the musician in you. That's what happened to Richard Meals, who got into songwriting on top of his industrial career. Even after a move to Asia, he kept writing and performing his original songs. His most recent work is a single called "From Today." Recognized by the Great American Song Contest, "From Today" is an interesting number, with multiple genres melded into one. Its roots are firmly lodged in country gospel... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary / Pop Rock

    People of the Earth, In All Things (2017) / WeArePote.com
    People of the Earth is a Kentucky based worship band specializing in worship tunes for pop music fans. Frontman/founder Dustin Fenison is already quite accomplished as a staff writer for Daywind Music Publishing (a HUGE outfit in the Christian music industry) and is one of the pastors at his home church. Their newest EP, In All Things, contains five brand new songs and another song that was released last year and featured on Vital Worship, Vol. 2. The EP sets out with a heavy pop vibe from the get go... Read the Full Review

    Worship / Pop

    Children of Wrath, No Flesh Spared (2017) / Bandcamp
    There is such diversity in heavy music, with more subgenres of hardcore and metal than almost any other genre. Phoenix, Arizona-based Children of Wrath explores a number of them on No Flesh Spared. An act consisting of only one man, Luke Dinan, Children of Wrath takes inspiration from bands like... Read the Full Review

    Death Metal

    David Vaters, A Voice in the Wilderness Vol. 1 (2017) / DavidVaters.com
    David Vaters is a singer/songwriter who has teamed up with a slew of accomplished studio musicians to release a two volume set of his solo works. A Voice in the Wilderness Volume 1 is an Americana and heartland flavored album, with a dash of classic rock, that features songs exploring God's display of wonder and grace towards His creation. After only a few songs in, you can hear a strong Bruce Springsteen influence in Vaters' work -- especially his vocal style... Read the Full Review

    Americana / Heartland

    Levi Ransom, True Intentions (2017) / Official Twitter
    Already boasting several albums in his discography, Levi Ransom is a young singer/songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia, who has just released a new full-length project of original songs, called True Intentions. Ransom spends a lot of time singing with high-pitched vocals, in the realm of Brooks Paschal from Sullivan, but he shows... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock / Country

    Xd Out, Better Day (2017) / XdOutRocks.com
    There's a been a recent resurgence of grunge rock, which is both exciting and terrifying. It straddles those extremes because, just like the explosion of EDM or Brit-pop, there are those who standout and others who get lost in the mix completely. Regarding indie band Xd Out, their latest album Better Day resides within that tension for better or worse. The album opens with the worshipful ballad, "We Love You Lord." The song is clearly a declaration of love for the Lord... Read the Full Review

    Grunge / Rock

    Gretchen Keskeys, Pure Hope (2017) / GretchenKeskeys.com
    Gretchen Keskeys released her debut album, Walking in the Spirit, just last year, but since its release, she's gone on to perform on a variety of Christian TV and radio programs in support of it. Now the former Warehouse Christian Ministries worship leader is riding that momentum and giving listeners a brand new album this summer. Some of the songs on Pure Hope actually came from her experience of releasing Walking in the Spirit, such as "Pure Hope" and "Adversity... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary

    Gerard Powell, Island Style Christian Music (2017) / GerardsMusic.com
    The classic sounds of Summer are in full swing with beach tunes like "Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer" by Nat King Cole and any Jimmy Buffet fanfare. Hoping to add his interpretation to those warm summer nights is Gerard Powell with his double-album, Island Style Christian Music. As the title of Powell's album implies, this is a collection of island-style covers of contemporary worship songs and hymns of old. Some tracks are absolutely recognizable, while get a bit lost in translation... Read the Full Review

    Island Music

    The Ashamed & Shunned, Kill Your Cowards (2017) / TheAshamedShunned.com
    The Ashamed & Shunned is a bit of an enigma. Information about the project is pretty scarce, and his bio reads, "The band bio is not important. I am me, but I am you." Suffice it to say, we don't know a lot about him until you actually listen to the music. His latest revelation comes in the full-length album, Kill Your Coward. The Ashamed & Shunned's music is rooted in hip hop, but branches off into shades of alternative and electronic music, as well... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop / Alternative

    Bill Fair, One Way Home EP (2016) / BillFairMusic.com
    Bill Fair is an independent pop artist looking to make an impact on his listeners while he honors the Savior though his music. Bill started writing his own lyrics a few years ago and the One Way Home EP is a collection of some of those songs. The first half of the EP is upbeat pop tunes, but the album shifts to a slower and more introspective sound in the second half. "Peace" is a super poppy song that encourages one to dance and features a pretty fitting rapped verse in the latter half of the song... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary / Pop

    Jermaine Bollinger, Is Anybody Listening? (2017) / JermaineBollinger.com
    Releasing two full-length albums and one EP in 2016, Jermaine Bollinger is already set to release another full batch of songs just ten months after the last one. His newest album is called Is Anybody Listening?, and it picks up right where The Great Unknown left off. With so little time in between releases, it's only natural that the two albums would sound pretty similar, unless the intent was to make two completely different albums... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Worship

    Forrest Wakeman, Messes to Miracles (2017) / ForrestWakeman.com
    Forrest Wakeman is a talented worship leader and songwriter from Michigan. On top of leading worship, Forrest has a doctorate and master's degree, was on faculty at Cornerstone University, and is a professional pianist playing in numerous Broadway musicals. Wakeman's Messes to Miracles is an album that chronicles his personal voyage telling a story of loss and the grace of God. Wakeman invited in some nice guest vocalists and talented musicians to help him pull this album off. Messes to Miracles shines brightest from a musical... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Garett Serban, Anthem EP (2017) / GarettSerbanMusic.com
    As a traveling musician through Florida's Southeastern University, singer/songwriter Garett Serban has become plenty comfortable with leading worship in front of perfect strangers, playing in various youth conventions and churches around the country. Earlier this year, Serban went into the studio to record his first album, a six-song EP called Anthem. The EP appropriately begins with an anthemic tune called "The Victor," in which Serban boldly declares Jesus' victory over death and sin through the cross... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock / Worship

    FoldingLights, Exiles (2017) / Facebook
    Every decision heard on a great musical project should feel unquestionably necessary. On a fundamental level, if the sounds of the instruments and vocals don't mesh well, there isn't much of a chance that the other aspects of the songs will be properly heard. FoldingLight's 5-song Exiles features deliberate lyrical concepts and a couple ear-perking tunes, but it leans towards generic worship motifs and factitious timbres a bit too much to be all that interesting. Most of the runtime rests in all-too-familiar worship beats... Read the Full Review

    Indie / Acoustic Pop

    Leslie McKee, Another Mile (2017) / LeslieMcKee.com
    Leslie McKee's story of getting into music is similar to that of many in the industry today. McKee was a member of several musical groups and went to various conferences for Christian artists as her network of industry friends grew and grew. Eventually, this led to a deal with Creative Soul Records, who released her first album, True To You, as well as her brand new, crowdfunded album, Another Mile. McKee blends radio-ready pop rock with the sounds of modern pop-driven country, bringing to mind artists like Lady Antebellum and Carrie Underwood... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock

    E.K.490, Who I Am - Single (2017) / E-k-490.org
    The music streaming world that we live in provides essentially everyone the opportunity to produce and distribute art to the masses, which is both incredible and horribly frightening. As a young band, there are a plethora of reasons to feel intimidated, but nevertheless, there are those courageous enough to hold their art with an open hand to the world of objectivity. California based duo E.K.490 are boldly entering the raging rapids of music with their latest single... Read the Full Review

    Electro-Pop

    The Recording Collective, Gospel Vol. 2: Every Praise (2017) / TheRecordingCollective.com
    MultiTracks.com started the project known as The Recording Collective as a resource for worship leaders and listeners. The project is aimed at multi-cultural congregations across the globe. Gospel Vol. 2: Every Praise is chock-full of praise and worship songs, ranging from Hezekiah Walker's "Every Praise," to the popular Bethel song, "No Longer Slaves... Read the Full Review

    Gospel

    Michael Bennett, In Your Presence EP (2017) / MichaelBennettMusic.com
    A relatively new believer in Jesus, giving his heart to the Lord in 2013, singer/songwriter Michael Bennett has already been treading the waters of the independent Christian music world. He released his first solo worship album, To Live Is Christ in 2015, and he now has four brand new songs to offer up, collectively known as the In Your Presence EP... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    (the autumn), Glorious Light (2017) / Facebook
    (the autumn) is a Pennsylvania duo with an interesting meaning behind their name. Autumn is seen as a season of change and the parenthesis represents the "internal." The idea is to represent the internal change we experience when the redeeming grace, love, and power of Jesus Christ touches our lives. The group began as an instrumental venture by Chris Shalter about 5 years ago, but Chris's atmospheric instrumental work soon morphed into an atmospheric style of worship music. In 2015, Ali Roth joined Shalter to add another dynamic to the sound with her fantastic voice... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Andrew McLeod, Stargazer (2017) / Facebook
    The beauty of art is how it can be communicated in multiple styles and formats - transcending language, culture and stereotypes. Storytelling through music is an excellent example of this multifaceted expression of art; albeit an ambitious endeavor. Joining in the depths of artful expression is indie artist Andrew McLeod with his introspective narrative, Stargazer. The image of a sea voyager exploring the depths of his soul is the overarching theme, seeking hope in the midst of depravity. "Dark Waters," "Lifeboat" and "Journey's End" really showcase the nautical imagery, acknowledging the tumultuous... Read the Full Review

    Rock / Metal

    R&R, R&R EP (2016) / joncorbinmusic.com
    If you're into CHH and you somehow missed it, we recently released a free hip hop compilation and two of the many artists featured are Emcees Travis Harmon (reSEARCH) and Jon Corbin (The Runaway). The duo has a most unique story behind putting together this EP. They were attending a show and simply tossing out rhymes with each other - strangers at the time - in a parking lot... Read the Full Review

    Hip-Hop / Rap

    Aubri Colescott, Anthems & Arrows (2017) / AubriColescott.com
    Anthems & Arrows is the debut album from singer/songwriter and local church worship leader Aubri Colescott. Armed with a strong backing band and a handful of original songs, Colescott's offering shows that she could one day handle the life of a nationally signed artist. There are a couple of cover songs and hymns tucked away in the tracklist, such as "In Christ Alone" and "Do It Again," but I really appreciate that most of the songs are originals. It shows that Colescott is more than just a voice, but that she can also "sing unto the Lord a new song... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Contemporary

    Cristabelle Braden, Hope Survives (2017) / CristabelleBraden.com
    Music is quite possibly the most powerful way of communicating the rhythms of life: the pain, the joy, the despair, the hope, etc. Indie artist Cristabelle Braden clearly knows this and is taking her opportunity to share the pain she has experienced and the hope given to her in Jesus with her latest release, Hope Survives. Beginning the album is the welcoming and encouraging "We're Gonna Make It," as Cristabelle calls listeners to press on... Read the Full Review

    Pop

    Jesus Army, The Journey (2016) / Jesus.org.uk
    With an extended network that reaches over just about all of the United Kingdom, the Northamptonshire-born Jesus Fellowship Church is doing its part to fulfill The Great Commission across the pond. Last year, some of the musical members of the church got together for a night of worship, performing songs written and passed down by others throughout the church's history. This worship night was recorded and released on both CD and... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Myke Clements, The Layover (2017) / MykeClements.com
    Myke Clements is an independent artist who's been involved in multiple musical genres throughout his life. Clements has been in a hardcore band, played zombie themed folk music, and is currently working on pop/rock tunes just to name a few. His newest album, The Layover, is inspired from a time period last year when he was laid off from his job. Myke's songs have a fun and innocent vibe and show the strength he was given through Christ in some of his darker days. The opening three tracks are all fun numbers, but the guitars in... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock

    Archroyal EP, Anchor EP (2017) / Archroyal.net
    Archroyal is an indie folk outfit from Minneapolis bringing sounds familiar to those who are fans of artists like Josh Garrels or Bon Iver. Their debut EP, Anchors, has a lyrical focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ and has a soft acoustic singer/songwriter feel expected from a lot of folk music. While the height of folk music in America hit in the 60's and into the 70's, the genre has been making a strong come back in the 2010's -- and in several different forms. Archroyal has a very minimalistic... Read the Full Review

    Folk

    Earnest A, From Father To Son (2017) / EarnestMusic.net
    Formerly known as A.P. da Playa, the Southern Illinois-based rapper Earnest A is hardly a newcomer to the industry. As a member of Dem 380 Boyz, he has released several albums, both solo and with the group. With a renewed focus and sense of purpose that came from a short break from rap, Earnest picked the mic back up, headed into the studio, and came out with his newest album, From Father To Son. The album feels influenced by the old school of hip hop, with encouraging... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop

    Dan Ferrari, Unrepeatable (2017) / DanFerrariMusic.com
    Dan Ferrari is a singer/songwriter from New Jersey. When Ferrari isn't leading worship, or singing and playing his own material, he is busy writing and co-writing songs for others -- one of his biggest being "Pendulum" by Tatiana. On top of many other accomplishments, Ferrari even had the opportunity to play for the Pope while in Rome! Dan's latest solo release, Unrepeatable, features ten upbeat acoustic pop and worship tunes. Overall, there is a good blend of worshipful songs, like "Give You Glory" and "All the Way Close," along with more fun pop ditties like... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Worship

    Final Surrender, Nothing But Void (2017) / Facebook
    Picture a five-piece metalcore band steadfast to traditional tenets of the genre: blast beats and shifting drum cadences layered with alternating guitar riffs, break downs, and vocals spanning from growled to screeched to sung. Sounds played out right? Surprisingly, in this case, it's not... Read the Full Review

    Hardcore

    Tim Drisdelle, Depths EP (2017) / TimDrisdelleMusic.com
    Starting your recording career with a two-part project is ambitious, to say the least. But that's what Tim Drisdelle is doing, starting with an EP called Heights in late 2016, and following with this year's Depths. Usually, a two-part EP project with only four songs apiece would be enough to make someone ask why the artist didn't just make one full-length album. But it's clear that Drisdelle had a concept in mind; a concept aiming to remind us that Jesus is with us in both... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Pop Rock

    Tim Drisdelle, Heights EP (2016) / TimDrisdelleMusic.com
    Singer/songwriter Tim Drisdelle has been surrounded by music his entire life in various aspects. Growing up in a musical family has shaped him as an aspiring artist, and leading worship at his home church has opened the doors for him to use his creativity and songwriting to glorify the Lord. After releasing a handful of singles over the past few years, Drisdelle is now attempting his hand at life as a recording artist. In November of last year, the Canadian-born singer... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Pop Rock

    citylovemusic, citylovemusic EP (2017) / citylovemusic.info
    In 2015 singer and worship leader Jonathan Singh released his album entitled City Love Music. Singh has now teamed up with his sister, Kristina Plush, to form a duo going by the same name -- stylized citylovemusic. The name means "to be a City on a hill, to Love God and His people, and make Music that reflects Christ." The pair released their first EP together last year, but they are already back in 2017 with another EP... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    All That Is, What King Is This? EP (2016) / Facebook
    All That Is is an indie alt/rock band, with some folk (modern Irish folk music) influences, from Belfast, Ireland. Their EP, entitled What King is This?, released in August of 2016. While I wouldn't classify them solely as a worship band, they certainly have those aspects incorporated into their music. The first two tracks are rather standard tunes, but the second two are much more worshipful in nature. The opening number, "When Memory Brings Aid," is co-fronted by both singers, Mark Wright and Cherie Carr... Read the Full Review

    Folk / Worship

    Mitch Langley, Avalanche of Hope EP (2016) / MitchLangley.com
    Mitch Langley is a worship leader at Northland Christian Church in Topeka, Kansas, but like many worship leaders today, he's also an active recording artist. With two releases in 2015, Langley isn't slowing down, with a new five-song EP to end the 2016 calendar year as well. The Avalanche of Hope EP is Langley doing what he does best: writing catchy pop rock songs to glorify God's magnificence and His great love for us. Langley shows he is no stranger to the anthemic worship tune; his latest single, "Once For All... Read the Full Review

    Worship / Pop Rock

    Joseph Pfeifer, Do You Hear What I Hear? (2016) / Facebook
    West coast singer-songwriter Joseph Pfeifer successfully released his independent debut album, Good Company, back in 2010 (as well as the Lost Boys EP in 2014). Pfeifer is back now to release his first Christmas album, Do You Hear What I Hear? The album contains eight holiday classics and one original song... Read the Full Review

    Christmas / Pop

    Kelly Condron, Brick By Brick EP (2016) / KellyCondron.com
    A blossoming artist from Joliet, Illinois, singer/songwriter Kelly Condron found herself being personally complimented by Nick DePartee of rock band Kutless at a festival they both played. With such encouragement, Condron felt enabled to continue using her music to reach out to people. Fast forward to September of this year, and fans are treated to her second outing, an EP entitled Brick By Brick. The five songs on this EP all vary in sound; interestingly, the album is almost palindromic in its genre approach... Read the Full Review

    Pop

    Mercy Worship, Search Party (2016) / Bandcamp
    After six EPs of worship cover songs, one Christmas EP, and one EP of original songs, pop rock band Mercy Worship is using its momentum to offer up another EP of new, original material. Search Party features six songs that sound inspired by bands like Matchbox 20 and The Fray. In fact, lead singer Sam Shin's vocals bear a striking resemblance to those of The Fray's Isaac Slade - most notably in the opening track, "The Only Truth" - as they not only sound alike, but also have similar melodies and enunciate their words in a similar way... Read the Full Review

    Worship / Pop Rock

    Brent Tatum, Run To You EP (2016) / BrentTatum.com
    Hailing for Myrtle Beach, SC, Brent Tatum releases his first album, Run to You, with major talent assisting. Aaron Gillespie [Underoath, The Almost] joins in to produce the album and even play drums on three of the album's tracks. Tatum's music is rock based and carries a vibe somewhat similar to Gillespie's own solo material. The album opens up with a faster moving rock number in "You Make Me Brave" and a more mid-tempo rocker in the Gillespie featured title track... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock / Worship

    DAMAC, Journey EP (2016) / IAMDAMAC.com
    Michael Lacoste, aka DAMAC (Deeply Anointed Music About Christ) a Christian rapper from St. Louis. DAMAC has been touring for about 6 years and approaches his craft with the sole purpose of creating music to glorify Christ. Journey mostly falls in line with what you'd expect from a lot of modern hip-hop and rap (though "Stay" is much smoother), but Lacoste himself has a more gruff sounding voice. "Unite" kicks the album off with a nice sounding guitar lick that continues throughout the entire song... Read the Full Review

    Hip Hop

    Echoboy, Kingdoms EP (2016) / Echoboymusic.com
    Echoboy is a full-fledged, fivepiece pop rock band from Louisville, Kentucky. Born out of a perseverance through various pains and struggles, Echoboy's first foray into an actual music release comes in the form of a three-song EP (or single, according to iTunes) called Kingdoms. Kingdoms is an optimistic release, featuring a sound more polished than a great many independent bands. Bands like The Digital Age and An Epic, No Less come to mind, as Echoboy mixes a pop rock sound with... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Rock

    Eddy Mann, The Consequence (2016) / EddyMann.com
    Eddy Mann is a singer-songwriter steeped in the Americana and folk traditions singer-songwriters are often associated with. Mann's newest release, The Consequence, is a follow up to 2014's Dig Love and trails in the same vein musically. While this is his newest album, Mann has been releasing music for quite some time and has numerous albums you can check out and purchase on his website. Mann also has some acclaim in his background as he's won awards for IMEA's Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year (2016)... Read the Full Review

    Folk / Americana

    Stephen Miller, In God We Trust - EP (2016) / Stephen-Miller.com
    Jesusfreakhideout spotlighted Stephen Miller's excellent album Liberating King in 2015. Miller is back now with an EP complete with four new worship songs. In God We Trust is Miller's newest outing and continues his mission of writing songs to worship our Creator. The EP opens with "King of All (In God We Trust)," a mid-tempo track that sells the central theme of the album. "Waves of Grace" follows and focuses on the forgiveness and mercy found through the cross of Christ... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Mark Pogue, Through the Fire (2016) / MarkPogue.com
    The music industry goes through phases like any industry; the music industry's phases come in the form of what genre is popular. The 80s and early 90s were characterized by a particular style of rock music that is now affectionately called "hair metal." The genre has all but died out, but Mark Pogue is here to tell us that it's not completely extinct. His latest album, Through the Fire, is his most recent batch of proof. As a recording artist who has worked with artists like DeGarmo & Key and John Elefante, Pogue... Read the Full Review

    Classic Rock

    Eric Kneifel, No Shadows (2016) / EricKneifelMusic.com
    Eric Kneifel is a worship leader from Portland, Oregon with nearly 20 years of experience. His debut worship album, No Shadows, is his first release (outside of 2015's Acoustic EP) and was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign. The twelve songs found on No Shadows were whittled down from a whopping fifty-plus songs originally in consideration. Thankfully, Eric didn't get overzealous and release a massive collection of songs much too large for a new listener to digest. The theme of the album lies within the hope... Read the Full Review

    Praise & Worship

    Rick Stephenson, My Everything (2016) / RickStephensonMusic.com
    Though he calls Johnson Creek, Wisconsin his home, Rick Stephenson also spends time as a traveling speaker, touching Christian audiences with his words of encouragement. But he also takes his music along with him, leading people into a time of worship wherever he performs. The award-winning singer/songwriter recently came out of the studio and has a brand new album to offer; My Everything marks his fourth full-length album. Stephenson's sound is rooted in pop rock, but it also... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary / Pop Rock

    David Lockard, Hope (2016) / DavidLockardMusic.com
    Working on his musicianship since high school, David Lockard eventually went on to become the worship leader at his home church. In his free time, he also wrote several of his own songs for the congregation. Ten of those songs have found their way onto Lockard's latest worship album, Hope. Lockard's style is a bit of a conglomeration of different styles, but they all mostly center around a contemporary/pop rock core... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock

    Stratiotis, Testify (2016) / iTunes
    Boasting an older style of rock and roll with a self-defined "southern fried" sound, Stratiotis is a band that with a bluntness that is often hard to find in the Christian music industry. Their second album, Testify, calls out Christians for watering down the message of the Gospel ("Testify"), preachers for being corrupt ("Preacherman") and young men playing with the hearts of young women ("Daughter"). These topics are all handled with a righteous anger, but the messages are... Read the Full Review

    Rock / Southern Rock

    Doom Tiger, Phoscoria (2016) / Bandcamp
    Doom Tiger is one most prolific indie artists around. David Taylor, the brainchild behind Doom Tiger, has been improving his craft musically, but more importantly, from a production standpoint, since his first release, Doom Tiger EP, back in 2013. Doom Tiger returns in 2016 with the newest album, Phoscoria. The album offers up some more Doom Tiger flavored metal, but the music goes beyond the genre norm of standard doom or death metal and even incorporates some nu metal characteristics... Read the Full Review

    Doom Metal

    One Way Home, Front Porch (2016) / OneWayHome.band
    Though it's rare, it's always interesting to see a band make a drastic switch in genre. Houston natives One Way Home released an EP in 2013 that matched the sounds of groups like Selah, but for 2016, they made the change to a bluegrass/folk sound. And that's what you get when you listen to their latest full-length album. Front Porch is drenched in bluegrass familiarity: mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar, light percussion, and soaring vocals. One of the things that stands out the most is the band's gift for creating catchy and wonderful melodies... Read the Full Review

    Americana / Folk

    Life Church Music, Greater Things (2016) / LifeChurchMSC.com
    Life Church Music is the worship band from Life Church in Germantown, Wisconsin (main campus). Their album, Greater Things, was recorded live at a worship event held on March 2, 2016. The Greater Things event provided a full-length live album recording chock full of songs that are ready to be inserted into your church's worship service. While the instrumentation is much more indepth than most churches have the ability for, the songs can still be pulled off even with more minimal worship bands... Read the Full Review

    Live Worship

    Leading Light, Heart (2016) /
    Australia is home to many worship bands and artists, with Hillsong likely being the biggest of them all. Leading Light (members were formally part of the C3 Church Newcastle City) is another one of those bands and they're releasing their debut album, Heart, this fall. The band state on the website that they are believing for something better and bringing light into dark places with their music. All-in-all, Heart is pretty much what you'd expect from a modern worship album with nothing really pulling Leading Light ahead of the masses... Read the Full Review

    Worship / Rock

    Jermaine Bollinger, The Great Unknown (2016) / JermaineBollinger.com
    A former worship leader at several churches in his home state of Illinois, singer/songwriter Jermaine Bollinger took the leap that many in his shoes do: Bollinger stepped into the music industry as a full-time artist. With no shortage of albums, his frequency of releasing new material certainly solidifies the "full-time" status; his latest album, The Great Unknown is his third album in 2016 alone (second full-length). Boasting eleven tracks... Read the Full Review

    Worship / Power Pop

    Hollis Creek Revival, In the River (2016) / HollisCreekRevival.com
    Hollis Creek Revival is an indie band from the Dothan, Alabama area. Brandon Kelley formed the band with friends he met at a local church and named the band after the legacy his grandfather left as a preacher for over 48 years (and his father, Murray, who was also pastor for over 40 years). The band's sound is HCR -- Clint Singleton (bass/acoustic/electric guitar) and Jacob Patillo (electric/acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin) -- actually toured with Brandon when he was a solo artist... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Rock / Bluegrass

    Jon Davidson, Hymn (2016) / JonDavidsonMusic.com
    As a frontman for independent acts Crown Point and Silversafe, having released albums with both, Jon Davidson isn't exactly a rookie in the music scene. He's also released several solo albums, yet he still flies a bit under the radar. Despite relative obscurity, he's managed to book solo and full band gigs with the likes of Mat Kearney, Powerman 5000, Red, He Is We, and other notable acts in a variety of genres. And he continues his musical journey in 2016 with a new full-length album called Hymn, which contains Davidson's take on a handful of hymns. So, of course, this begs a couple of questions: what do they sound like, and does he do the hymns justice?... Read the Full Review

    Hymns / Pop / Electropop

    Fire & Ivy, Eternity EP (2016) / Facebook
    When the mainstream music world had N*Sync and the Backstreet Boys, Christian teens were more than likely enjoying the sounds of Jump5, ZOEgirl, and Rachael Lampa. Bubble gum pop has all but gone extinct these days; what remains doesn't really make any impact, while the rest of it has matured and changed over the years. Taking cues from modern artists like Britt Nicole, Charmaine, and Francesca Battistelli, the duo known as Fire & Ivy have crafted five songs for their EP, Eternity. Fire & Ivy's music... Read the Full Review

    Pop

    Doug Shea & the Circle of Quiet, Where Truth Meets Grace (2016) / DougShea.com
    Milwaukee native, and current Texas resident, Doug Shea, and his band (the Circle of Quiet), have recently released their third album, Where Truth Meets Grace. The sound is undoubtedly rock music, but the lyrics often come from more of a sense of personal worship. Shea, himself, describes the project as "edgy Christian rock with Jesus-centered lyrics." Much of the music has some classic rock tendencies, but also features some alt/rock and modern worship sensibilities (the band Live comes to mind in a few places). What's most striking is Doug's raspy voice against the musical backdrop... Read the Full Review

    Rock

    Seaside Holiday, Grand Tours (2016) / Grand Tours
    From the musical hotbed of Ohio, Cara and Morgan McQuate have launched an electronic duo known as Seaside Holiday. Debuting in 2012 with a full-length album, the duo dabbled in Christmas music the following year, and are now back at it with their latest batch of tunes, collectively titled Grand Tours. The McQuates cite influences that the average listener probably isn't aware of (Stereolab, Wild Nothing, Beach House), but one may also hear some NYVES, The Echoing Green, or Joy Electric influence... Read the Full Review

    Electronic / New Wave

    Leah, Made For More (Single) (2016) / LeahMusicOnline.com
    Leah is a Christian pop singer from Oklahoma. Her second independent release, the Every Move EP, released in 2014, but her debut radio single, "Made For More," released on June 7th of this year. The song was inspired by the first chapter of The Prayer of Jabez for Women. The electronic flavored pop song came from the thought that, while being a mother is extremely important... Read the Full Review

    Pop

    Scarlet Fade, Worship EP (2016) / ScarletFade.com
    With early influences listed as Switchfoot, Flyleaf and Paramore, three-piece sibling band Scarlet Fade have put out a handful of releases as an independent band dating all the way back to 2008, and now they are poised to make a larger impact on the music industry. Their new release on LLG Music Group, titled Worship, finds the band leaving their rock roots behind, ushering in a pop-worship sound like Hillsong Young & Free and Shinebright. The 29-minute EP starts off with three dance-ready... Read the Full Review

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    Avery Road, Another Song (2016) / AveryRoadBand.com
    Entering the Christian music stream are indie newcomers Avery Road, with their latest album, Another Song. Beginning the album with a pop-country toe thumper is the title track. It's not overly energetic, but the direction of the album is very clear; encouraging, mid-tempo, musical chicken noodle soup for the soul. "Your Dreams," "The Truth" and "Let It Out" feature a lot heavier guitar, but still have a feeling of restraint. This may be because the vocals are extremely CCM radio-friendly... Read the Full Review

    Country / Pop

    Awaken The Hero, Louder Than My Doubt (2016) / AwakenTheHero.com
    Seven years ago, three men from Georgia got together under the banner Awaken the Hero and released their debut, self-titled album. With a mission to help the Church stay focused on the prize, the heroes have been re-awakened for album number two. Louder Than My Doubt is a collection of uplifting and motivational songs that traverse the spectrum of contemporary pop without ever compromising their potential for popularity among fans of the genre... Read the Full Review

    Contemporary Pop

    Curtis Alley, Those Lovely Intangibles (2016) / CurtisAlley.com
    Curtis Alley is a long time singer/songwriter/musician. Alley released his first album in 1978 and has been writing and recording very strong ever since. Alley has now penned a first for himself -- a completely instrumental album. Those Lovely Intangibles is an instrumental EP that Alley wrote and recorded over a 4-day period. The album starts with a very sci-fi sounding (Very Star Trek) intro for "Eternal... Read the Full Review

    Instrumental

    Narrow Path, NP, Vol. II: Long for Eden (2016) / NarrowPath.us
    Narrow Path is a rock band from Jasper, Illinois. The group originally started as their church's worship band, but eventually stepped down from that role. Narrow Path currently operates as an outreach band through the Christian Church of Jasper. The group's latest release, NP EP, Vol. II: Long For Eden, is only a short three tracks... Read the Full Review

    Rock

    Doom Tiger, Ospheria (2015) / iTunes
    If you pay attention to indie artists here at Jesusfreakhideout, you should be very familiar with Doom Tiger. David Taylor's metal persona is very likely the most reviewed indie artist on the site. Ospheria is part of a series of albums (The continuation was just announced with a release date of 8/28/16). Ospheria, like Pelagia, is a multi-part album (5 to be exact) and takes a lot of the doom and death metal elements Doom Tiger is known for and adds some slight metalcore elements... Read the Full Review

    Doom Metal

    Doom Tiger, The Grippe (2015) / iTunes
    Doom Tiger is a very prolific indie metal artist. Recording everything from doom, to death, to drone metal, brainchild David Taylor is looking to give every sort and metal its fair shake. His album, The Grippe, has been on Soundcloud for over two years. The album features some pretty cool artwork of a grim reaper -- which actually goes along with the concept. Taylor says The Grippe is an extreme doom metal album that is based on the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 -- known as "la grippe... Read the Full Review

    Doom Metal

    Curtis Alley, 6oh! (2016) / CurtisAlley.com
    A music fan since early childhood - and a musician for almost as long - Curtis Alley has an extensive discography under his belt. In 2015, the artist celebrated his 60th birthday; in honor of the milestone, Alley put together a collection of songs he'd written over the years for his newest album, 6oh!. Instead of a traditional album that contains songs that are all written somewhat at the same time, the songs on 6oh! were written at various times over the past forty years. The first half of the track list was originally written by Alley between 1978 and 1987; you can really tell that these are older songs, as well. The Keith Green influence is very evident in "I'm Not Worthy," and shades of classic... Read the Full Review

    Rock / Contemporary

    Rusty Shipp, Sinking Scarabs (2016) / Spotify
    Rusty Shipp is a self-proclaimed "nautical rock'n'roll band" hailing from Nashville, TN. Their single "Sinking Scarabs" is an odd, but cool, blend of surf rock and punk rock with a little garage rock thrown in for good measure. The intro is a fast picked surf riff dripping with reverb, but quickly gives way to a punk rock vibe. The first minute and eleven seconds is pure elation for a punk rock fan who is also a Beach Boys junkie. The music slows as the actual verse starts, but the transition from fast to slow and back again works well... Read the Full Review

    Rock

    Jennifer Hildebrand, Soul In Paraphrase (2015) / jenniferhildebrandmusic.com
    Jennifer Hildebrand is a singer/songwriter from Texas. Her music has some folk inspiration, but largely comes off sounding more country in tenor. In her new album, Soul in Paraphrase, Jennifer sets out to explore experiences like redemption and relationships. The music is largely acoustic guitar and piano, but in songs like "Bitter Waters," you get a nice bluesy electric lead guitar throughout; it's very likely the best sounding track on the album. "Live Around the Pain" is also a song of note though... Read the Full Review

    Folk / Country

    Andy's Messianic Music, Blessed Unseen Guest (2015) / andywallin.com
    As I have stated many times, music is subjective. What one person finds very intriguing, others may find incredibly bizarre. A punk-rocker may hate the musings of opera, while the classical music lover may abhor current pop music. With that in mind, I present to you the album Blessed Unseen Guest from Andy's Messianic Music. Remaining as unbiased and open-minded as possible... Read the Full Review

    Christian Messianic

    Modern Day Cure, Promises (2015) / ModernDayCure.com
    Contemporary worship band Modern Day Cure has some success stories to boast; from opening for artists like Lecrae and the Newsboys to winning Big Ticket Festival's indie band competition, they seem to be making some waves in their community. Fast forward a few years, and the three-piece from Michigan is once again offering a recording of the music they're becoming known for. Their 2015 effort, the Promises EP, is a well-produced, uplifting, four-song venture that checks off all the main characteristics... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Andrew Marcus, Constant (2016) / AndrewMarcusMusic.com
    Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, worship leader Andrew Marcus has been making quite the name for himself, and for good reason. Writing, touring, and recording with artists such as Leeland, Paul Baloche and Phil Wickham, Andrew has displayed a talent and production that can easily stand up to the likes of such artists. His newest release, Constant, only serves to further Andrew as a staple name in CCM. While the album may edge a little too closely to predictability, the songs presented are genuine and musically solid... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Dalton Greiner, Set Sail (2015) / DaltonGreiner.com
    Dalton Greiner is a singer/songwriter from the Philadelphia area. He started off playing and singing in his parent's music ministry as a child and is currently the worship director at his church, Harvest Bible Chapel. Set Sail is Dalton's first album and it features songs based in scripture, with a couple coming directly from Psalms. The first thing you may notice as you begin to dive into the record is his voice. Greiner has... Read the Full Review

    Worship

    Fritz Schindler, A Folk 'n' Roll Christmas! (2015) / FritzSchindler.com
    Christmas is nearly upon us and celebrators of the season are already in the depths of holiday cheer and warm music. Contributing to this year's holiday spread is folk performer, Fritz Schindler with A Folk 'n' Roll Christmas. The EP opens with a Celtic influenced rendition of "Little Drummer Boy." While the track has a very strong methodical opening, it quickly changes course with a more upbeat jig feel. This thankfully doesn't harm the song per se, however the original song lends itself... Read the Full Review

    Christmas / Folk

    Doom Tiger, A Very Mass Market Christmas (2014) / Facebook
    Doom Tiger has released a couple of EPs and a full-length album of different types of metal. His first Christmas EP, A Very Mass Market Christmas is his second "mass market" titled record. Most of the songs present are common Christmas carols, but "Bring a Torch Jeannette Isabella" and "Coventry Carol" are a little rarer. While "Joy to the World" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" may be Christmas standards, it's very unlikely that you've heard them like this... Read the Full Review

    Christmas / Death Metal

    Remember The Word Songs, Books of the Law (2015) / RememberTheWordSongs.com
    Remember the Word Songs is husband and wife duo Tim and Jamie Bartlett. The project started when Jamie's combined desires to learn scripture better and to write music converged. Basically, the couple breaks down the Bible's key events and happenings by book and chapter. In this release, Books of the Law, Genesis through Deuteronomy are covered on top of the song "Books of the Bible" -- which puts the old testament books in order to song. It's actually quite an interesting concept as so often, while growing up, songs were used as a learning technique. Jamie started with "Genesis" and taught it to her four daughters line by line and night by night. After sharing with some family, Jamie decided God was calling her to do this and her husband, Tim... Read the Full Review

    Bible Songs

    Josh Egan, (2015) / Facebook
    The singer/songwriter is a focal point of CCM. Many an artist can no longer simply perform well but must provide a complete package of lyricist, composer, musician and performer. Indie artist Josh Egan hopes to showcase a bit of his singer/songwriter skills with his latest single, "Scatterbrain." Musically, it carries a sound that is reminiscent of early Jason Mraz with a dash of 90's coffee house, as it features light guitar with some accents of loose piano tootles. Lyrically, it's verbose and a little muddled together as Egan sings in the chorus... Read the Full Review

    Pop / Acoustic Pop

    Joe Miralles, Five (2015) / JoeMiralles.com
    The independent Christian music circuit last heard from from Joe Miralles in 2012, when he released his fourth album, an EP called Under the Sun. Having been hard at work in the last three years, Miralles and his band are at it once again with another EP, appropriately titled Five... Read the Full Review

    Pop Rock

    Gracious Vine, Come and Sit For A While (2009) / GraciousVine.com
    What started as a brother/sister duo and merged into an all-female trio has now become a five-piece pop rock worship band called Gracious Vine. Their latest offering, Come and Sit For A While, is an album full of praises to Jesus, lifted up by a conglomerate of sounds that borrows from different genres, such as blues, country, classic rock, and '90s alternative. Gracious Vine uses the term "mellow rock" when describing their sound... Read the Full Review

    Mellow Rock

    Circle Of One, Shatter the Individual EP (2015) / CircleofOneBand.com
    Making their independent debut, an EP called Part of the Plan, in early 2014, Pennsylvanian rock band Circle of One is back at it in another attempt to shake the world and bring God's message to those who need it. Shatter the Individual is a three-song EP that brings a lot energy and passion from start to finish. With the opening track, "Raise the Dead," the listener is immediately captured by their sound... Read the Full Review

    Rock / Rapcore




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