For some reason my husband tends to become a country music fan for the few months of the year that summer occupies. The rest of the year he avoids it like the plague. But something about warm air, sunshine, beaches, and the prospect of a tan gets his inner honkey-tonk going. I’m from East Texas, so that part of me is always ready to be rowdy; and I am a forever fan of Miranda Lambert and Shania Twain. But as the years since college have added up, my radio-listening capacity has dramatically decreased. Car-time isn’t filled with my music options anymore… Instead it’s full of Veggie Tales and princess movie theme songs.
As I’ve been trying to update my summer music options recently, I can’t help wanting to only listen to songs that my daughter can handle. She is a sponge, and after hearing a song once, she can sing its lyrics back to me. It’s terrifying and amazing. As a result, I’ve been scouring iTunes for good music that will get her heart thumping with life-giving words, and I thought I’d share some of them with you. I like Christian radio, but recently I’ve discovered an entire world of artists that radios generally do NOT play, and whose music is worth hearing! In college it was easier for me to stay up date on music and worship artists, but things are busier and nobody burns me CDs anymore.
Three months ago my husband and I decided to pay for a Spotify monthly membership, which allows us to listen to basically any music we want for free. For ten bucks a month, we get access to thousands of songs and tons of playlists other people have already organized for us. In that process, we’ve found a whole new world of music that really edifies our hearts. If you can afford it, Spotify is a worthy investment.
Summer Music Suggestions
1. You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music: My daughter walks around our house singing the songs off this album. Bethel is a church in northern California, and they are fairly bursting at the seems with creative genius right now. Although I’d recommend you devour all their albums, this one in particular features all of their female singers and songwriters (who are incredibly talented) and Kari Jobe is a guest singer on it as well. It’s got that female-powerhouse vocal feel with lyrics that move my heart.
2. Laura Hackett: Her self-titled debut album was released in 2009 so it’s not new. But she isn’t super well known, although in my opinion, she SHOULD be. Her lyrics are brave, her voice is bright and clear and soul-searching, and her heart is precious. So many of the songs off of this album have been anthems the past few years, and this album does not get old.
3. As Sure as The Sun by Ellie Holcomb: I must confess that I love folksy tunes, and Ellie Holcomb sings happy little songs that get my feet moving. I love this album in particular, because her songs are for the most part straight out of the Bible. I love that. I get to memorize effortlessly. And there isn’t a gloomy tune on the entire album. Life is looking up, people!
4. On The Shores by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser: The only thing better than an album that makes me think of summer immediately, is an album that makes me think of summer–compiled of songs that a husband and wife team have written. This album is like a piece of my soul. Offering it out to you is not just a little painful. I feel like it was written for me. I hope you like it too. It’s powerful in vocals, in lyrics, in music. It’s just beautiful. I hope it launches you into researching this amazing couple and their ministry school and their podcasts. They understand God’s Father heart so well.
5. Kingdom Come by Bryan and Katie Torwalt: Again. A married couple who produce music together just wins every time. If you have teenagers, they will LOVE the Torwalts. If you are intimidated by how “trendy” their music may sound, just listen to the words and see if they don’t call to you. I don’t know why their songs aren’t on every radio station, everyday. I cannot figure it out. But I love sharing their secret with you. Get ready to fall in love with Katie’s voice.
6. Hillsong Young and Free: Yes, I realize Hillsong is on the radio. And I think the other day I might have heard a song off of this album also on the radio. If you like the Torwalts, you will love this album. If you don’t like the Torwalts, you may not like this particular Hillsong album. It’s got a fresh, younger feel and I love it. I’ve almost listened to it so much that I may need a break. Almost.
If you’re really digging the first album I listed by Bethel Music, I’d encourage you to keep listening to all of their albums. Other worship bands our family loves are: All Sons & Daughters, Elevation Worship, and Antioch Live. Sometimes I just let worship play in our house because it settles my heart, even when I’m not intentionally listening.
And that’s Biblical, like Psalm 22:3 says, God is enthroned on the praises of His people.
His presence always brings peace! So I say, let the summer music play!
What are your summer music picks?
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