Wider Worship: Family-Friendly Pop
Welcome a special monthly edition of Worship Wednesday! Contrary to what Christian radio might make you think, there’s a wide variety of worship music out there, in every genre imaginable. Our worship team and staff have put their music-loving heads together to come up with a series of posts featuring a new genre of worship music every month! See one of your favorite musicians in RIYL (Recommended If You Like)? Recognize a favorite song from Sunday mornings? Check out a new band! We hope something strikes your fancy and injects your everyday music listening with a little more worship.
This month, let’s explore…
Now that the kids are out of school, you might be looking for fresh music to play when the whole family is in the car together. Here are some of our favorites!
Atlanta native Jamie Grace blends country, folk, rap, and the occasional ukulele into upbeat songs about faith and hope. Younger girls (and their parents) might appreciate how she reminds girls of their strength and value in Christ. She also performs with her sister, Morgan Harper Nichols, as country duo Harper Still.
- RIYL: Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, our Brave Girl camps, cheerful and uncomplicated lyrics
- Christie Suggests: “God Girl,” “Hold Me“
- Laura Suggests: “One Song At A Time,” Harper Still’s cover of Adele’s “Remedy”
Grammy-nominated Hillsong Young & Free is one of many groups associated with the globe-spanning Hillsong Church, but it’s the only one that makes music specifically for teens. Its members were part of the original Hillsong youth ministry in Sydney, and as the years have passed, they saw the need for music aimed at the teens they used to be and serve. Their lyrics emphasize pursuing God and celebrating in his redeeming love, and the music ranges from upbeat dance tracks to heartfelt anthems.
- Songs We’ve Sung: “Gracious Tempest“
- RIYL: Martin Garrix, Porter Robinson, Ariana Grande, festival and club EDM
- Christie Suggests: “Lifeline,” “Alive,” “Sinking Deep,” “Brighter“
EDM duo Capital Kings got their start remixing worship songs by Toby Mac, Britt Nicole, and more. They seek to inspire and encourage listeners in a genre that rarely thinks about or references God. Their pumped-up songs are on gold-medal winner Gabby Douglas’ training playlist, so maybe they can help you get #shredded, too.
- RIYL: Imagine Dragons, Owl City, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5
Britt Nicole is known for being open and vulnerable in her lyrics. “Every song I write is written from heart about my struggles, my fears, my hopes and dreams,” she says. “We are all vehicles for change in our own ways, and I draw my strength from the hope that maybe something I say will get someone to finally see themselves for all they are worth.” You might recognize her music from Brave Girl camps, as well!
- RIYL: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Christina Perri, Carly Rae Jepson
- Christie Suggests: “Gold,” “Ready or Not“
I Am They was born from a one-night-only worship night at their church. The band was so well received that they gave themselves a name and signed with a label. Their self titled album, which came out in 2015, is reminiscent of classic, country-tinged CCM but updated for for post-Mumford & Sons folk-pop fans.
- RIYL: David Crowder, Of Monsters and Men, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
- Laura Suggests: “From The Day,” “No Longer Slaves“