I can’t believe that this year is flying by so fast! How are we already in September? Well, before we start counting down the days until the holiday season, let’s not forget to look back and reminisce about August’s Most Download-Worthy CCM Music. August was filled with great albums, and the songs that I have suggested for you, are sure to bring a great conclusion to the end of the summer!
August Week 1: “Move (Keep Walkin’)” by Toby Mac and “Vapor” by Gungor
Anytime Toby Mac releases a new album, you can bet that the month will start strong for music lovers everywhere. Toby Mac’s newest album is called “This is Not a Test” and all of the songs are consistent to his signature style. Toby has always been able to niche himself smack in the middle of CCM without sounding like an industry copycat. Some of my favorites from this new album are “Love Broke Thru,” “Beyond Me” and “Undeniable.” However, the song that I have been using as an anthem lately is a driven, motivating track (perfect for the gym), called “Move (Keep Walkin’).” I am sure you will love it!
In contrast, I want to give Gungor a shout-out for their latest album, “One Wild Life: Soul.” Now, while I never end up liking their whole album, (the music tends to be a little too melancholy for my taste) I can appreciate their unique sound within the landscape of CCM. For a very subdued but interesting song, listen to “You.” However, if you want to hear what I think is the catchiest and most upbeat song on their new album listen to “We are Stronger.” While both of these songs are unique and enjoyable, the song that captured me the most is the last track entitled “Vapor.” I highly recommend this one as the lyrics and melody are simply beautiful!
August Week 2: “Among Lions” by Ryan Kirkland
Ryan Kirkland’s “Wanderer” album is an absolute gem to come out of August. Ryan is a relatively new artist (last album was back in 2009) and I have been listening to his newest work constantly. I love every song because each one shows a completely different side of his talents – truly layers upon layers of creativity. The first song called “Awake” caught my ear almost immediately and the chorus reminded me of an early Coldplay song. However, don’t let the first track fool you because he can definitely switch it up. I seriously suggest you listen to this album from start to finish as one download won’t fully represent his style. My top recommendation to get your feet wet is called “Among Lions.”
August Week 3: “Free as a Bird” by Rend Collective and “Let Down Your Guard” by JJ Heller
I couldn’t wait for this album (“As Family We Go”) to be released because I am a huge Rend Collective fan and it did not disappoint! Ever since I saw them in concert, I knew I would be forever hooked! Therefore, picking a favorite is almost cruel, because to be honest, it is worth owning the whole album. Every song becomes my new favorite and therefore, I want to highlight just a few tunes: “Coming Home,” “Just a Glimpse” and “Never Walk Alone.” However, one of my very favorites is called “Free as a Bird” because it is upbeat, positive and the kind of song you want to hear on repeat!
I also wanted to recommend JJ Heller’s new CD “Sound of a Living Heart.” She is a woman with a unique voice who has been making albums consistently since 2004. Listen to her first track, “Let Down Your Guard” and you might find that you end up wanting to hear more… just like I did! On a final note, 7eventh Time Down has a new album out called “God Is On The Move.”
August Week 4: “Something Different” by Sidewalk Prophets and “Love You More” by Nichole Nordeman
Sidewalk Prophet’s “Something Different”was released the last week of August and I think this album was the perfect ending to a great month of music. I recommend the guitar driven and upbeat song, “Something Different.” However, there are a lot of other great melodies that are more relaxed and beautiful like “Everything in Awe,” “To Live is Christ” and “Closer” featuring Tamela Mann.
Last, but never least, is Nichole Nordeman’s latest EP called “The Unmaking.” While this album is short (only six tracks), it is truly the classic Nichole which we all know and love. Each track features beautifully engaging lyrics and heartfelt vocals. The song that captured me most is called, “Love You More” which reminds me of some of her finest work, a few years back, when she wrote all of the lyrics for the album “Music Inspired by the Story.”
This concludes the summer and thankfully, August has left us all warm and fuzzy. I can’t wait to see what the Fall season brings us, and if August is any indication of what’s ahead, we are in for some more great music. I hope you check out some of these featured songs as I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!