summer playtlist – the breakdown

Every season we put together a mix of the songs we are listening to at the minute, some brand new and some not so much, and a combo of genres and styles. But if you’re on the hunt for something in particular, maybe you don’t want to sift through the whole playlist to find what you want. So here is a brief breakdown of what is included this season to make things easier for you.

Songs perhaps suitable for your church:

Ancient of Days – CityAlight. I love this song from the most recent CityAlight EP. It is stripped back, not too wordy, and as such gives you great space to really meditate on the attributes of God’s character being spoken of. Easy to pick up and super catchy. Stick it on your to-teach list.

To God be Praise and Glory – Sing Team. This is a pretty cheesy recording, but slowed a little and with less syncopated accompaniment, it would be good as a kinds/youth song. GREAT words.

We look to you – Sovereign Grace. This is a little bit of a dark horse off the Prayers of the Saints album, which in itself was such a strong album that basically you could get numerous songs you want to teach off it, and by the time you reach this one at track 13 you’re at saturation! But it is a total beaut of a heart song as we ‘groan’ with this messed up world we live in. Not perhaps the easiest to pick up in the verse, but if you have a sermon series on Jesus power/return/suffering now, this could well be worth the effort. (Check out our previous album review for more info on the album)

It is finished -Matt Redman. If you are doing a sermon series on the cross, this could be a good add. If not, there are probably stronger songs on a similar theme to stick to. Great, encouraging one though.

King Forevermore – Aaron Keyes . This seems to divide a lot of churches on it’s singablity, so see what you think! It’s a great song on the character of God, but it contains some unexpected timings so take your time teaching it if you decide to do so.

My dwelling place- Getty. This is off their recent EP of psalms, which includes a few ones you might want to teach ( check out our previous album review if you’re interested) . This is a pretty tune and fairly easy to pick up.

Christ the sure and steady anchor – Matt Boswell. I really like this one. It follows the fairly standard getty/townend modern hymn format that churches tend to pick up so easily, but with a few notes to make it interesting. And the words are great. He is what we hold to when everything else is uncertain. Would fit well if you’re preaching on assurance, death, or Jesus’ victory at the cross and what that achieves.

For the beauty of the Earth- A new liturgy. I’m in two minds about this one, but I think if you scrap the kind of chorus-y bit, this could be a fresh arrangement of this old hymn to reintroduce to your church, especially if you’re doing a series on creation or perhaps the church.

We believe (the creed)- Stuart Townend. So, if you have previously sung the Getty/Townend song ‘One church, one faith, one Lord‘, then this one is a shoe-in, because the verse is EXACTLY the same, all you have to teach is the chorus! Obviously, we already have the Hillsong creed song that’s been doing the rounds for a few years, but if you haven’t got round to teaching that yet, then here is an alternative. Perfect for corporate declarations of faith, and when thinking about the roles of the trinity

O fount of love- Matt Papa. This is great. If you’re doing a series on the cross or Jesus victory, think about adding this. The verse is super easy and the chorus can be taught with a little time. Perhaps you already know of this one- it was new to me despite being out for like 8 years now.

New again- Sojourn . This isn’t very new, but I think it didn’t catch on as well as it could have, because the tune isn’t amazing, and the recording is not particularly inspiring. But the words are really brilliant, so have a look and see if you could spruce it up a little!

To sing in the car

Looking up- Citizens. Citizens have crackers of lyrics that really can hit you right where you need to be hit heart-wise, but as a rule don’t even consider them for corporate church use! This one is great in reminding us to keep looking up in the middle of the muck of the world.

You are the Christ – Olly Knight. This has a great riff and is a good bop along song about Jesus’ identity as shown in the bible. It might work well for youth, but apart from that I’d say there are other songs to teach first in church. So enjoy this for you for a while first!

Counting every blessing- Rend collective. Whip out your inner soul queen to sing along to this one. Great reminders of our standing as God’s people.

Just as i am- Sing Team. This is a pretty grunge version of the old hymn. Great words, and good for head nodding along as you drive, but not for singing in your local church.

Every little thing- Hillsong Young and Free. Standard Hillsong y&f, not saying anything wrong, but not really saying much of anything! So a great song for the car, particularly if you have teenagers/are young enough yourself to still love a bit of dance/rap.

Look what God has done -Ghost ship . Fab song on what God is doing through salvation and through building his church. I don’t think It’s particularly easily picked up for churches, but if you’ve a super band and a musically strong congregation, go for it. Otherwise, sing in the car and be encouraged!

Praise him forever- Chris Tomlin. If you’re at a big, well-resourced church, you could maybe add this to your ‘teach’ list, but otherwise, I’m not sure it’s one to prioritise, though a great song to sing along to in your own time and remind yourself of the awesome God we praise. (see our previous album review to see more on this latest Tomlin album)

Boast in the Lord- Aaron Keyes. I love this. But i’m not sure this would be super pickable up-able for your church. The verse is easy but the chorus has a few runs in it that might be beyond Joe Bloggs in your congregation. So maybe just sing this truth to yourself for now.

For your heart

Oxygen – King’s Kaleidoscope. KK are just awesome musically. They do stuff that no other christian band do, while again hitting you hard with real life christianity in all it’s gritty reality. Definitely not suited to singing together in church, but this song, and indeed the whole album it comes from, is awesome if you just need good, properly interesting music, with honest lyrics to excite your heart. This one riffs on “Jesus loves me’ and makes me think of my kids and their simple faith in what they’ve always known, contrasted with the turmoil of my busy world that tries to squish my dependence on the Lord.

Hallelujah, what a saviour- Ascend the Hill. This is a hymn I grew up on, and it gives me chills. But then they’ve added the chorus of Leonard Cohan – Hallelujah, which my jury is still out on. Regardless it’s beautiful and the words are wow. Just maybe not for church with the chorus added, I think it might be distracting for people and bring up connotations not necessarily about Jesus.

Always Grace -Matt Redman. If you’re doubting your salvation or that God’s grace is unending and big enough even for you in all your mess, this is one for you.

Praise the Lord Ye heavens- young oceans. This is a rework of the old hymn (usually sung to the hynm tune ‘Austria’ if you know it). It is wonderful, and I like the chorus they’ve added, but I’m not 100% about whether it’s not too irregular for churches to pick up easily. Let me know if you try it and I’m wrong though! And regardless, in the meantime, what an awesome song to encourage your heart.

We will feast in the house of Zion- Sandra McCracken – A chilled out Psalm version that will grow on you and encourage your heart.

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