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February Single: Lighter From Here

What We Love  (artwork by Mandy Rogers Horton)
What We Love (artwork by Mandy Rogers Horton)

I shared with my email list last week that I won't be recording an album this year but instead invite you to join a tribe of listeners who will be able to stream or download a new song each month of 2016.

Album projects are amazing, but it's also amazing to share a new lyric and melody with your friends while it's fresh from writing and you're still living the story.

So every month Jess Ray and I will go into her home studio and lay down acoustic production on a new tune. If you join the tribe ($10), you'll get a little note in your Inbox each month letting you know your new tune is ready (mp3 & wav available). Download right away, or wait and get several at a time when you're in the mood.

These songs will not be available elsewhere this year, but you may be hearing the demo of a future single, who knows?

To top it off, each track will be paired with an image of an original piece by Mandy Rogers Horton, whose artwork was featured on the COVERS ep.

"Lighter From Here" is our January song, and it's ready, folks. Head on over to The Store if you're ready to take this musical journey with us.

ABOUT SONG #1: LIGHTER FROM HERE

2015 brought some hefty trials into our life, and Lighter From Here is my song of response. It's a new year hope rooted in the memory of God's goodness and of the faithful return of light year after year.

I've written before about my loathing of winter darkness. Well, I was interested to consider a couple of years ago that the longest night of the year arrives just before Christmas. Our hanging of decorations and our songs of Advent waiting and Christmas celebrating are a massive communal effort to persist in hope and survive the shortened days.

By the time we take down the white lights and get back to regular routine, the long night has actually passed. It's behind us, the worst. We can expect a literal lightening, slowly but surely, day by day.

It's not mere optimism. It's a beautiful and true thing, this faithfulness of nature to reflect the promise that light will win.

We may have some winter yet ahead, but I hope you'll hear comfort and even a gradual return to joy in these words and melody.

Hear a clip of this new release here & join the Tribe to get all 12 songs.

LIGHTER FROM HERE

In late December the sun refused to show

This frosty winter has cut us to the bone

But maybe we’ve felt the worst

We’ve been to the bottom

Maybe we’d take the hurt and the loss

For all that they have taught us

And if what lies behind is the darkest night

Of a long and brutal year

We’ll keep our eyes on the horizon

It’s all getting lighter from here

It’s all getting lighter

The sky will be brighter

The days will be kinder from here

We pull the embers into the new year fire

We will remember how wind and flame conspired

To bring our bodies close

And bind our hearts together

Send everything that’s gone up in smoke

Give us hope for warmer weather

And if what lies behind is the darkest night

Of a long and brutal year

We'll keep our eyes on the horizon

It's all getting lighter from here

It's all getting lighter

The sky will be brighter

The days will be kinder from here

It's all getting lighter

The sun will be higher

The days will be kinder from here

TuneTribe Photo
TuneTribe Photo

These Are a Few of My Favorite...Indies

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 10.53.31 AM I keep finding myself in conversations where people are lamenting the shortage of good music in the world and asking for recommendations. Honestly, there is SO much good music being made. You just have to know where to find it.

At our house, we listen to just about everything in terms of genre, and we find our music by word-of-mouth, Noisetrade, Spotify/Pandora/iTunes Radio, mainstream radio, and great online curators like Under the Radar Radio. We love it all, and our playlists tend to lead or follow our moods and activities.

Okay, and we also disagree. Often.  In fact, my personal favorites happen to be on Toby's "most loathed" list. That's okay. It is what it is.  I can play OTR as loudly as I want when he's not home to avoid the groans, grimaces and "this is the WORST" comments.

So, I'm not going to give you everything, but rather focus a few of my favorites who are a little (or a lot) lesser-known. Because nobody needs me to tell them about "this band called Mumford & Sons."

(Several of the artists I have included need no introduction, either, but just in case they're new to you. Also, I'm leaving off music that I can't in good conscience recommend to your kids.)

Treat yourself & your people to new music during these long winter months & find joy in supporting some under-discovered artists!  

p.s. Some of these albums will be included in a giveaway happening here next week! Drawing 3 names from orders placed in November & shipping music, books & a signed Christmas greeting. 

So, here we go.  Artists - and one of their well-loved songs - as a jumping off place for you.

 

My Most Played Over Past 12 Months:

Sleeping At Last - "In the Embers"

Over the Rhine - "All My Favorite People"

Andrew Belle - "Pieces"

 

Extremely Gifted Singer/Songwriter Friends:

Jessica Campbell - "Time"

Nick Flora - "Lost At Sea"

Sara Groves - "It's Going to be Alright"

Andy Gullahorn - "I Will"

Ellie Holcomb - "Magnolia"

Jenny & Tyler - "Song for You"

Shelly Moore - "Tie That Binds"

Cindy Morgan & Andy Greer - Hymns for Hunger

Eric Peters - "Where Would I Go"

Jill Phillips - "It Will Pass"

Rachel Stevener - "Holding"

Carolina Story - "In the End"

Nicole Witt - New Album Coming!

 

Quiet Music to Play Loudly

Sanders Bohlke - "I'm Gonna Make It"

Future of Forestry - "Pie Jesu"

Kye Kye - "Peace Song"

Milk Carton Kids - "Michigan"

Salt of the Sound - "Where Do I Begin"

Waterdeep - "Not Looking Good"

 

Good Guys w/Big Talent

Colony House - "Glorious"

Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors - "Live Forever"

Josh Ritter -"Bright Smile"

Judah & the Lion - "Rich Kids"

 

The Josh Garrels Category

Josh Garrels - "Farther Along"

 

New Discoveries

Jason Barrows - "Voyagers"

Kaleb Jones - "Hold On Tight" - p.s. I met Kaleb in a coffee shop on Thursday, fell in love with his music & voice, and 4 days later he was singing on my upcoming Covers album.

 

Young Artists I'm Excited to Work With/Watch for These:

Emily Sage Dempsey - "Grow"

Jansen Hogan - Album Coming!

Elle Michelle – "Sleepy Heart"

Jana Gilmore – "Stay With Me Til Morning"

Taylor Leonhardt - "Sunday in the Park"

Jess Ray - "Better"

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you & your loved ones.  These colder months can be hard, which for me means I have to work harder at the practice of gratitude. May your list of gifts be ever-growing.  I'm thankful for YOU.

love,

christa