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…
Citizens & Saints got their name from Ephesians 2:19 – in fact, when they were the worship band at Mars Hill, their name was just “Citizens,” a name that they hoped “focused more on the people of God participating in joyful and expressive worship of Jesus.” After Mars Hill closed, they found strength in the way believers continued to be church, in one form or another. Citizens & Saints offers both covers of hymns (like “How Great Thou Art”) and original songs with lyrics focusing on the redemption and grace of the Gospel.
- RIYL: Imagine Dragons, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, theologically robust lyrics, hymns as rock songs
The Followers is the worship band at Door of Hope in Portland. Their “neo-gospel,” “70’s-infused” album is available on Bandcamp and you’ll probably recognize a lot of their tracks from Real Life worship!
- RIYL: Allman Brothers, Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Songs We’ve Sung: “Wounded Healer,” “Overwhelmed,” “Take Me To Your Side”
Joe Day blends unpretentious vocals with muddy guitar, retro keyboards, and declarative lyrics, in many cases drawn verbatim from Scripture. His sole album, “Grace,” is full of prayerful and energetic tracks that lead the listener on a journey from sin to redemption.
- RIYL: Radiohead, St. Vincent, Oasis, Seattle grunge
The Sing Team is another ex-Mars Hill worship group, this one offering a sound that blends pop rock, anthem worship, 70s pop, and Southern gospel. They’re quirky and authentic, and their genuine community energy makes for great worship.
- RIYL: Sufjan Stevens, Jackson 5, unique instrumentation, singing along to musicals
Nashville-based Leeland have 4 Grammy and 8 Dove Award nominations to their name, and their country-influenced rock has had huge influence across modern worship music since the band formed in 2006.
- RIYL: Bruno Mars, Brooke Fraser, Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, pop rock that’s just a little country
- Songs We’ve Sung: “New Creation“
Ghost Ship, formerly the worship band at Mars Hill Ballard, named themselves for being vessels of the Holy Spirit. They have a unique folk-rock sound and earnest, thoughtful lyrics that both express God’s love for us (“Look What God Has Done”) and cry out honestly out in prayer (“Orion,” “Peace”).
- RIYL: The Head and the Heart, Snow Patrol, James Blunt, sincere and raw prayerful lyrics
- Songs We’ve Sung: “Orion,” “Son of David“
Got a related band or favorite song to recommend? Share in the comments!