Spring is evidently the season for killer new worship projects...
Kristen Gilles, Parker's Mercy Brigade
Sometimes, in the circles I float in, we can do a lot of "musical theology" in the realm of abstraction. But Kristen's new album is far from abstract. Parker's Mercy Brigade is a psalmbook-like collection of tunes, largely dedicated to processing a very real period of suffering in Kristin and Bobby's life. This album is what it looks like when sufferers honestly and faithfully sing their suffering to God. One of my favorite songs is "Chase Away My Unbelief," because it is both desperate and hopeful. The songs are singable and congregation-friendly. Kristin has done a good job pairing these songs with the Church calendar year, for those more liturgically-minded folks. Parker's Mercy Brigade is a needed offering to the church, both as a model and as a provision of modern lamentation and deep worship! Check out a promo video and get all the resources you need for the album here. The album is available on iTunes, Amazon, and on Kristen's site if you'd like to order a hard copy. Even cooler is that half the proceeds go to Nadus Films, which sheds light on issues of social justice and worldwide need.
This is an incredible project, both for what it is and what it represents. Sovereign Grace Music was pioneering the intersection of passionate modern worship with theological depth before most of us were a blip on the radar. They were plowing hard ground before anyone else was there. This collection of songs functions as a kind of "greatest hits" of Sovereign Grace (though they really have too many outstanding songs to boil down to one album). The influence of Sovereign Grace is shown on this album by the all star lineup of artists willing to re-imagine these songs on this record: Paul Baloche, Glenn Packiam, Kristyn Getty, Aaron Keyes, Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, to name a few. I hope and pray that this very fresh and beautiful project will re-give these songs to the Church and inspire more to sing them. Here it is on iTunes and Bandcamp. Get all kinds of free resources on their site, too.
Releasing today is Summit's newest offering. My friend and kindred spirit, Jonathan Welch, is the understated leader of this outfit, overseeing some very talented worship leaders, songwriters, and recording artists (e.g. Matt Papa), and this latest record from Summit is full of beautiful songs for the Church which are rich in Godward theology and gospel-saturated expression. Something remarkable, too, similar to my comments about Journey Church's Songs from the Book of Ephesians, is its diversity. "Praise to the Lord the Almighty" is a beautiful, groovy pop-gospel number, with great vocals and an infectious beat. The final song, "Dios, Ven" (God, Come), is a Spanish rock ballad with explicit Trinitarian theology and a high view of God's glory. Go get it on iTunes today!