September's Must Listen List

September’s Must Listen List

by Daira Curran

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September marks the change in weather (unless you are in the south, which has been my stomping grounds lately) and with the wardrobe inspired weather change, also comes an array of beautiful melodies from artists that you know and love as well as some great new finds! As I spent time listening to so much great music this past September, I have a lot of things worth featuring. I know that your fall season will be blessed as you check out some of these artists.

September 4th: “You Alone” by Jon Foreman and “Confession (Agnus Dei)” by The City Harmonic

In case you are wondering who Jon Foreman is, he is someone whose music you have mostly likely heard. As the lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the famous band Switchfoot, Jon is not only extremely talented, but highly creative with his latest project called “The Wonderlands.” This project takes the listener on a journey as four EP’s are released month by month, each telling a different story. They are broken up into the following albums: Sunlight, Shadows, Darkness and Dawn. The song I suggest is a track called “You Alone” which brings hope despite the work being entitled Darkness. The lyrics make this song a winner in my book!

Early September also brought about a band I love called The City Harmonic whose whole album (We Are) is worth owning. Honestly, I had a hard time picking a favorite as each song was excellently crafted. I love this band’s story as they were formed to bring hope to their city, through worship, in Ontario where poverty is ever-present. Some of the songs that immediately caught my ear were the opener “We Are One” and a new take on “Solid Rock.” I also thought the lyrics to “All of This and More” was done very well as the songwriters really did a beautiful job in expressing who Christ is. However, the song that I must recommend (because it was so different and inviting) is a song called “Confession (Agnus Dei).” I hope you enjoy it as much as I am.

September 11th: “Brave” by Crystal Lewis and “Never Gone” + “Echo” by Colton Dixon

Crystal Lewis’ self-entitled album was bittersweet for me because my anticipation for it outweighed the end result. You see, like some of you, I grew up listening to Crystal Lewis and singing many of her songs in my Church. However, while her new album is not my favorite of hers, I do like the song “Brave” as it brings me back to my childhood.  If you grew up singing “Beauty for Ashes” and “Lord, I Believe in You” like I did, check out her new stuff and give me your feedback!

Once again, like Jon Foreman, Colton Dixon shows off his creativity by releasing two dueling Ep’s: Calm and Storm. Naturally, Calm has a laid-back acoustic feel and Storm features an interesting arrangement of almost techno-inspired storm-like remixes. I absolutely loved Calm as each remix made me re-fall in love with Colton’s music. I highly suggest the remix of “Never Gone,” however all of his remixes are truly special! Contrastingly, the EP Storm is a great listen when you are needing a little boost mid-week. Listen to Colton’s song “Echo” as the words, alongside his beautiful falsetto, will make you want to listen to this song more than once!

September 18th (Part One): “You” by Lightfall and “Enough in You” by Jonny Diaz

Meet Lightfall. Lightfall is a Toronto-based worship band that recently released an album called Lost in Who You Are that showcases catchy tunes that are very enjoyable to listen to. The band’s sound reminds me of the earlier days of Hillsong. I recommend the song “You” which is a fairly repetitive song that has a positive message featuring Naomi Laserna and Derek Hoffman whose voices blend beautifully together. I also like the song “We Will Run” which would be a cool song for a youth-camp event!

Jonny Diaz has remained somewhat under the radar (although he has been making music since 2003) and I just fell in love with his new album. That being said, my only complaint is that there are only 6 songs on Everything is Changing. The songs are all well done and his voice has a lovely clean and easy-to-listen to tonality. I really didn’t feel there was a weak song as I loved “Joy” “Saved From” and “Chance,” but I will suggest “Enough in You” because it is radio-friendly and one that you want to hear… again and again.

September 18th (Part Two): “It’s Already Done” by Big Daddy Weave, “Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson, and “Tell Me” by Carrollton

I don’t really need to introduce this next band, Big Daddy Weave, as I am sure a lot of you are already fans. Their new album Beautiful Offerings, shows-off many great tracks. But, my favorite is a song called “Already Done.” Here are some of the lyrics:

“Hope for heartache, peace for worry, calm for trouble, rest for hurry. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s waiting right here for you. It’s already done, it’s already done, the love of the Father revealed in the Son. So open your heart up to His kingdom come and won’t you receive what He’s already done.”

Ryan Stevenson has a great album out called Fresh Start, that in certain moments, reminds me of a Toby Mac album. Ironically, there is a song called “Not Forgotten” which guest stars none other than Toby Mac. However, the song that I was truly captivated by (because of the lyrics and awesome instrumentation) was a song called “Eye of the Storm” which features Gabe Real. Also, a choir comes in at the end making this song rather inspiring! Be sure to check this one out.

Last, but not least, the band Carrollton released their second album called Sunlight and Shadows which is a great album from start to finish. Once again, I had trouble picking a favorite but concluded “Tell Me” would make you intrigued enough to listen to more of their raw passion and sweet but edgy voice.

September 25th: “Provider” by Darrell Evans and “Forever” by Kari Jobe

Darrell Evans, who is well-known for his worship song “Trading My Sorrows,” takes the listener to a new space in his latest album Fearless. The song I love is called “Provider” due to his unique vocal chops (a gritty whisper-like tone with some lovely high notes that allows him to soar in the chorus). Every time I hear this song I pick up on something new, so I encourage you to listen to it more than once.

Also, Kari Jobe album’s Majestic is revisited during the last week in September and I am so glad she did revisit some of these songs we all know and love! I suggest “Forever” because I loved it the first time and I love this new take on it as it is ethereal and gives space to focus on the power of the words + the strength of her voice in the chorus is spot on! Check out this new take on a favorite of mine.

This concludes September’s newest tunes and regardless of what you gravitate towards on this lengthy playlist, you will be in for an inspired month! In fact, you can’t go wrong with any of these bands! Let me know your thoughts below!