Five Christian bands you should start listening to
Fill your ears and brain with music that builds you up!
Music is everywhere - on TV, in the car, on your computer, even inside your head! Quality Christian music can be a beautiful, constant, reminder of God’s goodness, and it’s great having lyrics that actually ring true to your faith stuck in your head. There are countless Christian bands out there, but are there any really worth stopping to listen to? Here are five of my favourites.
Page CXVI's mission is simple: they reimagine old, sometimes forgotten hymns, and sing them in a way that we can enjoy here in the 21st century. The name of the band is a reference to page 116 (remember your Roman numerals from year 7?) of a copy of The Magician’s Nephew, the prequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In the book, one of the characters hears a noise ‘so beautiful he could hardly bear it’. How’s that for an obscure reference? There’s so much richness to the hymn lyrics they choose, and Page CXVI does a brilliant job of bringing them to life.
One song to listen to: Praise to the Lord
Citizens and Saints
Some people love them, others can’t stand them. My minister dad heard me listening one day; he assured me their style isn’t appropriate for a Christian band but I have to say, I disagree. These guys are bold, fun and unashamed of their joy in the gospel! From rock to electronica, club bangers to moody ballad, Citizens and Saints sing the word loud and clear. The way they play is definitely unconventional, but they take a slice out of contemporary pop music to praise God and it’s cool. They’re one of a few bands out of Mars Hill, a big church in the US, along with Kings Kaleidoscope, Ghost Ship and others, but C&S are my personal favourite. Check them all out, though!
One song to listen to: Father You are All we Need
Young Oceans is a bit of a different choice. This band’s job is to bring you on a journey; immerse you. Their albums straddle emotional and spiritual landscapes, combining string instruments with a modern electronic sound. If you’re looking for something to listen to on the train, you’re best off with something else, but if you have time to really listen, every minute will be worth it. This band is for in the bath, on the couch, and with good headphones or speakers. They take their music as seriously as their faith!
One song to listen to: Great is our God (but check out the whole album!)
The Welcome Wagon
The Welcome Wagon is as indie as it gets: a Brooklyn-based minister and his wife armed with a banjo, a small-time recording studio (library) and two hundred years of American gospel music tradition. Like Page CXVI, they often borrow lyrics from the great hymn writers (why not, right?) but totally refresh them with a modern sound. Unlike Page CXVI though, they write new melodies that make you think about the words. If you’ve ever listened to Sufjan Stevens you’ll recognise the type of music the Welcome Wagon play. Folky, twangy and beautiful, the Welcome Wagon has its own little corner of the Christian music world, and is definitely worth a listen or three.
One song to listen to: Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descending
City Alight’s strength is the way they write to serve others. Their music is contemporary and uplifting, yet simple and plain - for the sake of the musicians at your local church. They focus on writing each song so it tells a new story each time, and design their music for a Sunday church service. Some songs are fast, fun and joyful, others follow Jesus to the darkest place of all - the cross. They are out of a church in Sydney’s north west, St Paul’s Castle Hill, and love playing for events all around Sydney, including KYCK! Have a listen to the album, and feel free to suggest a song to the music director at your church.
One song to listen to: Once for All