I don’t know about you, but I’m so grateful that there is actually good Christian music out there nowadays. Not just good for Christian music, but good even by secular standards. Like musically, lyrically and vocally good, and not cheesy at all.
Music is really important to me, and I’m glad I don’t have to choose between spiritual depth and musical quality like people usually had to a decade or more ago. Christian music has come a long way, thank goodness.
Many Christians seem to just stick to modern worship music, like Hillsong United. I used to do that. Worship music is great and all that, and there’s definitely a place for it, but sometimes you want something that captures all the different things you’re going through and the broader scope of human experience (which worship music just doesn’t, if we’re really being honest).
If worship music were the Psalms, it would be only the positive ones. But God heard David’s laments as well, and it’s good to be able to show God every part of ourselves and all the feelings we’re experiencing. That’s what I think good Christian music should do. Christians should write love songs and songs about doubts and songs about depression. Those things aren’t shameful, and we should feel free to express all the things we go through.
So, if you quite like typical CCM and the stuff you would hear on typical Christian radio stations or if you only like worship music, this post is not for you. This post is for people who like different Christian music that wouldn’t be embarrassing if your non-Christian friends heard it.
This post is for people who are tired of cliche, mediocre Christian lyrics with the depth of a kiddy pool and for people who are seeking honesty and authenticity in the music they listen to. And it’s for people who care about good music and want to hear good musicians whose music wouldn’t be considered tacky in the secular music world.
Like many other people, I think the Christian/secular divide can be kind of damaging. Let’s not shelter ourselves, and let’s make art even non-believers can hear and say, Wow, that’s actually good.
I’ve chosen artists that are slightly more obscure, so there’s a good chance you may not have heard of them. I think this is a really amazing group of artists that deserve way more appreciation and recognition than they currently receive.
This guy makes my list of top 5 favorite artists. I literally love everything he comes out with. He’s technically not a Christian artist, and he has songs on compilation albums called Majestic Casual that feature secular electronic artists. But if you listen to his lyrics, it’s obvious that he’s singing about God. I love that he uses his secular platform to spread the gospel message. His music has such a peaceful feel to it and always cheers me up. It’s hard to find really good, current music that keeps your mind on God, but FAVELA has achieved that.
Update: He just released a new album and it’s AMAZING. I think he’s my #1 favorite artist right now.
For people who like: chill electronic music
This husband and wife duo also makes my top 5 favorite artists list. Their music is so warm and peaceful and makes me feel at home when I listen to it. They don’t always sing about God (they have quite a few love songs), but many of their songs have spiritual depth to them, and all of their music is honest and has a positive message to it. Ooh, and quite a few of their songs have the cello in it, which is always a plus. Raw musical talent right here.
For people who like: The Oh Hellos
This guy is also one of my favorite artists. His music emanates peace, and I love everything his music represents. His voice is so soothing and his lyrics are great. He’s the type of artist I listen to when I’m stressed out, and he instantly calms me down and makes me feel hopeful when I’m down.
For people who like: chill acoustic indie
She is one of my absolute favorite new artists. She’s been around for a few years now, but I only discovered her a few months ago. And it was a great discovery. Holly Arrowsmith is an amazing lyricist and guitarist and has a voice that was meant for folk music, and her music is also incredibly peaceful and helps me to calm down when my mind feels like a mess. There’s such an honesty and calmness to her music, and such conviction that comes through in her lyrics. She just released a new album, and in my opinion, her music just keeps getting better.
For people who like: really good folk that sounds like it could be from the 60s
This guy is fairly new and doesn’t have much music out, but I absolutely love the few songs he has released. His music is so peaceful and relaxing and has great lyrics. I hope he releases more music soon.
For people who like: chill acoustic indie
I just recently discovered this new artist, and I really like his stuff. His music sounds like good secular indie music but with spiritual lyrics, which I really appreciate (and his voice kind of reminds me of the lead singer of Foals). Like Benjamin Torrens, he hasn’t released much yet, but what he has released is great, and I’m hoping there will be more soon.
For people who like: indie music
I discovered this guy very recently and wondered why I hadn’t heard of him before. He has such a great voice and sounds like a mixture of a few different secular acoustic indie artists I used to listen to. Lyrically, vocally and musically, this guy is spot on. I love his songs that are raw and acoustic and just have him singing and playing the guitar or piano.
For people who like: acoustic indie artists like Jose Gonzalez
I discovered this guy a few years ago, but for some reason I missed the album he released in 2016 until this year (which I now love). His stuff all sounds pretty similar, but that’s not a problem because his music is great. I love his guitar and how folky and raw his music sounds. He also has variety in his lyrics, as his music is a mixture of love songs, spiritual songs, and songs about other topics. His music is peaceful and upbeat and always cheers me up.
For people who like: folky acoustic music
This woman has such a powerful voice. She’s like a Christian Adele. Her first album was all covers and sounded like it was from the 60s (like in the best way), and the album she just released was written by her and is pretty powerful and has quite a different sound than the last one (but not in a bad way at all). I’m absolutely obsessed with a few of her new songs. I love how raw and honest her lyrics are, and her voice is absolutely stunning. (Update: Liz Vice is touring with Propaganda and they’re coming to my town in September, and I just bought tickets and I’m pretty pumped about it.)
For people who like: Adele
This guy has such peaceful and relaxing music. I can listen to his full albums and I absolutely love them. Like several of the other artists, his music emanates a real calmness and puts my mind at ease. He also has interesting and varied lyrics, as many of his songs are spiritual, and he also has quite a few love songs. Plus he’s so musically talented.
For people who like: chill indie artists like Josh Garrels
I discovered her fairly recently and kind of fell in love with her Narnia themed album. I love her voice, and I love how raw and honest her songwriting is. If you’re feeling confused and faithless, go listen to Sarah Sparks, because she captures Christian struggles and doubts pretty authentically, and her music carries so much hope and truth.
For people who like: acoustic folk
This artist sounds so indie and British and not typically Christian at all, which I love. Her music is also really raw and honest, as she sings about struggles and doubts and feeling far from God. She doesn’t have much music out, but I’m hoping there will be more soon.
For people who like: indie music
So, I guess what you can take from this post is that I like peaceful music, and that I think honest lyrics are important in Christian music. I also value raw musical talent, which is most definitely evident in these artists. They certainly don’t come out with corny, shallow, mass-produced, CCM crap (not to be mean to mainstream Christian artists or anything).
If you want spiritual depth and a biblical perspective in your music but don’t want to sacrifice musical quality, these artists are for you. So I hope you have a listen and that at least some of them are your cup of tea. I hope their music brings you as much comfort and enjoyment as it has me.
If you want to hear more Christian music like this, you can also check out my Spotify playlist Good Christian Music. I also have a Christian electronic/hip-hop/dance playlist if that’s more up your alley. And I highly recommend the Good Christian Music Blog, as it’s where I discovered a lot of the Christian music I listen to now, and it has a wide variety of genres if these artists weren’t your cup of tea.