I don’t often make music recommendations; there are too many differing tastes and preferences in music. Too many wars have been started in Churches over simply the style of the music, regardless of its content or quality – and having stated that fact probably offended someone.
Still, as we are in the midst of our 6th week of Quarantine due to the Covid-19 virus, I thought I’d share some of the music that I’ve been listening to. I’ve found these to be albums/artists who’s music conveys beauty and goodness, bringing encouragement in troubling times, and even conveying greater Biblical truth. Not all of the albums or artists listed here meet all of those categories, but I have found their music to be soothing in these long weeks.
I’ve tried to include Spotify links were available so that you can check out their music as well.
Andrew Peterson – Resurrection Letters, Vol. 2
Peterson music has a folk, bluegrass, country feel to it, but what really drives his music is the wonderful writing. Deeply Biblical pictures come through his lyrics, expressing a sense of something greater that gives us purpose and meaning in life. If you can find a way to listen to all of Peterson’s music, do so, but the Resurrection Letters albums are particularly good.
Josh Garrels – Home
I don’t know how best to describe Josh Garrels’ music, but it certainly resonates with me. There’s a mix of west coast hip hop, folk, bluegrass, and Christian that makes his music rise above any particular genre. Combined with lyrics that are layered, moving, and story-telling, his music is always a journey. The Home album is a type of concept album that tells the story of salvation and liturgy in worship. Garrels himself wrote about this album, “While writing these songs I was searching for joy, and this pursuit instinctively brought my attention back to the people and places closest to me. Because of this, these songs have less of an outward, expansive scope, and rather turn the attention inward, to the intimacy of family, forgiveness, and homecoming.”
John Williams – American Journey
Whether or not you are a fan of the Symphony, you are certainly familiar with John Williams’ music. He has written the soundtrack for just about every blockbuster movie since the 80’s (Jaws, E.T., Star Wars, Superman, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Home Alone, Harry Potter, just to name a few). The American Journey was committed by President Clinton for a multimedia presentation called “The Unfinished Journey” released on New Year’s Eve 1999. When you listen you can almost see the history of America unfold in your imagination. The music is wholesome, inspiring, and beautiful.
Cardiphonia Music – Hollow Square Hymnal
This is a collection of artists who have come together for an album of Shape Note Hymns. There’s not enough space here to try to convey what shape note signing is, but the original shape note singing feels like old Appalachian Gospel singing. This album has a mostly modern setting, and will introduce some hymns that have been long forgotten.
Alan Golgoll – Grizzly Caterpillar
Sometimes you just need some soft music playing in the background, and this is my go to. From his website – Alan Gogoll is an Australian acoustic guitarist and composer most known for the invention of his two-handed simultaneous artificial harmonics technique he has called ‘Bell Harmonics’, which is featured in many of his original songs such as Mulberry Mouse, Pepperleaf Pipes and Bell’s Harmonic. Intrigued? Give it a listen and you’ll be hooked.