Once upon a time I sent out these hipster album of the month emails. Well, I can’t promise that I’m starting again, but here’s some music for this month.
Merry Christmas, friends!!!
I don’t know about you, but this month I’ve been feeling rather chaotic… not just with the busyness of things happening around me, but in my mind and heart also. It’s a fight to take time to be still in the middle of it all, but it is worth it. So— my encouragement for you is to take time to be still this Christmas, and when you turn on the music, let your heart sing.
Arnarstapi is an album full of ambient and inspiring wintery music. “SVVN is an ambient artist from Nashville, TN. Rich textures, sweeping melodies, and powerful drum line rudiments construct seamless movements of stirring music, all inspired by producer and composer Jeremiah Dunlap’s journey across Iceland. SVVN’s thoroughly crafted elements ranging from organic field recordings to analog synthesizers create a cinematic musical experience unlike any other.” —The Drop
P.S. I haven’t listened to it enough to have recommended tracks. So…. Just listen to the whole thing! 😀
This album is pretty rambunctious and hopeful. I also love how joyful this album is, and how many wonderful instruments are used in it (and all of Rend Collective’s music, for that matter!) There’s lovely mandolin, banjo, and I’m pretty sure accordion and some kind of bag pipes.
Recommended tracks: Hark the Herald Angels Sing (Glory in the Highest), Ding Dong Merrily On High, For All That You Have Done
This album is just wonderful all around. Instead of tracks, this album has movements, and each one is a blend of different Christmas songs that move through Luke 2:8-14, and basically through the Christmas story. My criticism of this album is that it is too short! I wish it didn’t end so soon. Good news is, it’s available for “name your price” on Bandcamp,and free on Noisetrade, so you can essentially get it for free either place. It’s one of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy it also!
Favorite track (since there’s only 4): Mvmt II, “Begin and Never Cease”
4) Hillsong Worship— We Have A Savior
More Christmas music… but Hillsong makes really good quality music. Some Christmas music just seems like another version of the same Christmas song, but I think this album is very worshipful, and does a good job of making these songs their own.
Recommended tracks: Born Is the King, We Have A Saviour, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (the banjo!!!!!), The First Noel (Holy Is the Lord)
“Let every heart prepare Him room.” This line,from Joy to the World, has been sticking in my head lately. Is there room in your heart?
Merry Christmas! Let your heart sing it!
It all started a while back completely on accident… First of all, I really appreciate meaningful, quality music, and love sharing it with others. I would often recommend music to a friend to listen to when at the office, and one week he asked, “So what’s the hipster album this week, Clara?” And that is how Hipster Album of the week was born. Ever since that day, I have kept it up almost every single week. Because it made me go look for good music, I have discovered and been introduced to so many amazing artists and bands, such as Harvest, Jordan and Kristin Rippy, The Ember Days, Strahan, Hillspeak, Carinthia, Tossing Copper, Jacob Montague, Judah and the Lion, John Tibbs, Seeker & Servant, Loud Harp, and so many others!
So from now on I will try to be posting the album of the week. I’m not promising much, but it will be nice to keep record of what has been featured already. Also, by the way, if you ever want to find past albums, you can find a lot of them by searching #hipsteralbumoftheweek on Twitter.
SO. Last week’s album.
Jordan & Kristin Rippy// Seek You First
I was so blown away by the heart and beauty of their music. I haven’t been able to stop listening. So I challenge you, go take a listen! I don’t think you’ll regret it. rippymusic.bandcamp.com/
“There’s nothing good within me, if I’m honest”
If I’m honest, I cannot pretend that I am perfect. I am broken, and the more I try to dress up this darkness that is within me, the more miserable I become. If only I could do the good I wish I did! But all of my righteousness is as filthy rags. I cannot change myself.
And that is why I need a Savior! There is nothing good within me. But God demonstrates His love, in that while we were YET sinners, Christ died for us. And I have done nothing to deserve this love!
My sin deserves death. But because of Christ’s blood, that was shed on our behalf, through Christ I am made righteous. When God looks at me, He sees Christ instead of my sin. Hallelujah! Holy is the Lamb who was slain. Anything good I find in myself is what He has done! On my own, I cannot change myself, but He is able to transform and mold and shape. He has started a good work in me, and He has promised to complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
Hallelujah! My brokenness drives me to Christ, in Whom I find refuge. In Him, this desert dryness within my soul has been quenched.
This was inspired by the song Truth be Told by Tossing Copper and by a conversation with a friend today.
“Suddenly you brought me back to life
I could feel my lungs fill up with hope inside
This is our song, you were with us all along” — Our Melody, Ethos Worship
(Be blessed as I was, listen to and download their album for free on Noisetrade.)
I love the Christmas season, truly. And nothing makes me feel more Christmassy then Christmas music! But it seems like the music we listen to the most makes us think that Christmas is only about romance and Santa and not being blue.
But that isn’t what Christmas is all about. For those who truly trust Jesus as Savior and Lord of their life, it should be about celebrating the day Jesus was born, the day God came to dwell incarnate among man. When you really think about it, it is so amazing that Jesus chose to become the Sacrificial Lamb and live as fully God and fully man. As Rend Collective Experiment puts it, “You left your perfection and fought for our redemption; how wonderful!” And truly, it is amazing. It is awe-inspiring.
So. If this is why we celebrate Christmas, if this is TRULY what we want to dwell on this season, then why don’t we listen to meaningful, quality Christmas music that reminds us of these things? If your answer is because you don’t know of any meaningful, quality Christmas music, fear no more!!
I would like to introduce you to three fantastic albums of quality Christmas music that I have been listening to lately.
First off, Advent to Christmas by Page CXVI. This album reminds us to take the time to truly remember who Jesus is and helps us to anticipate the coming of the Savior. As a band, Page CXVI desires to help hymns become accessible and known again, and they definitely have accomplished that with this album. I hope you are blessed by this album as much as I am! Listen Here or click on the picture.
Second, A Day of Glory by Austin Stone Worship. I found this album TODAY and it has already been such a blessing to me! The Austin Stone Community Church stated, “We reflect on Christ’s coming as a day when God’s glorious light pierced the gloomy darkness (Isaiah 60:1-6), and we also look forward to His return as a future day of glory when He will make all things new (Revelation 21:5-6)” and this is the heart of the entire album. Listen Here or click on the picture, and be sure to download it for free on Noisetrade!
Last but not least, Songs for Christmas by Branches. This album is an old favorite of mine, really fun and enjoyable to listen to if you are looking for some less chill Christmas music (at least the first few songs!) And it is a good folky addition to your music library… because, you know, everyone needs some good hipster Christmas music. Listen Here or click on the picture, and be sure to download it for free on Noisetrade!
I think the saddest thing in this day and age is that we have access to SO much music because of the internet, yet many of us just listen to whatever is popular because we simply don’t know about meaningful, nourishing to the soul, well-made music. So sometimes, like today, I make it my mission to try and change that.