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Top Gourmet Songs of 2015

posted: January 11th, 2016 by Dave Trout

A week and a half ago, our UTR Panel of Critics collectively proclaimed the Top 11 Gourmet Albums of 2015.  We asked them for some additional help by letting us know the individual songs that really captured their ears, minds, & hearts this last year. These selections are a bit more personal and even more subjective than the albums list, so it would be impossible to create a collective countdown.  Instead, we will list out all 50+ songs cited by our critics, in no particular order.  If you are someone that likes to cherry pick the best of the best songs for your music library, this list will give you the perfect place to start.  We are excited to share with you the Top Gourmet Songs of 2015!

[Songs are eligible from any genre if they are by a Christian artist/songwriter and were released between 12/1/14 and 12/1/15.]


  • "Tragedy Is Not the End" - Joel Ansett ("A brilliant song about personal grief" - Larry) 
  • "Brothers" - Arthur Alligood ("A celebration of friendship and community" - Jen)
  • “Bows & Arrows” - Cindy Morgan ("Evokes smiles and tears" - Lindsay) 
  • “The Rain Keeps Falling” – Andrew Peterson ("A journey from darkness into the light" - Dave)
  • “Lazy with Love” - Copperlily ("One of the best songs about marriage" - Russ)
  • "Even Unto Death” – Audrey Assad ("I hope Audrey never stops singing" - John)
  • "Used To" - MuteMath ("Obnoxiously infectious" - Matt)
  • "The Dark Before The Dawn" - Andrew Peterson ("What Christians need to hear" - Ann)
  • “The Arrow” – Josh Garrels ("He’s never sounded more retro-cool" - Dave)
  • "Make Something Right" - forBrothers ("Soaring layered vocal harmonies" - Larry) 
  • "4th of July" - Sufjan Stevens ("A heartbreaking song in the best possible way" - Jen) 
  • “The Men That Drive Me Places” - Ben Rector ("So poignant, so incredibly honest" - Linsay)
  • "You Will Never Run” – Rend Collective ("Sometimes you just want to sing some ohs" - John)
  • “Floodplain” - Sara Groves ("Finds a powerful metaphor in her own hometown" - Russ)
  • "Shine Like Lightning" - Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors ("We will shine the light of Christ" - Ann)
  • “The Well” – JJ Heller ("This is the most soulful I have ever heard JJ Heller" - Dave)
  • "One Wild Life" - Gungor ("The best of Gungor’s expanding musical palette" - Jen)
  • “Seas of Crimson” - Daniel Bashta ("Emotional vocals and deep, prayerful lyrics" - Kevin)
  • "Time" - Vocal Few ("Might be the best written song of 2015" - Larry)
  • "A Long Way" - Josh Garrels ("This cinematic number gets me every time" - Matt)
  • “Love You More” - Nichole Nordeman ("Masterfully weaves elements of biblical stories" - Russ)
  • “Watch Over Us” - The Lone Bellow ("Lush harmonies, sing-along melodies, sparse instrumentation" - Lindsay)
  • "Story of an Immigrant" - CIvil Twilight ("Maybe the best build I've heard all year" - Matt)
  • "The Sound of a Train” – Cindy Morgan ("I had goosebumps and tear-filled eyes" - Dave)
  • "Terminal" - Jon Foreman ("Lush and layered" - Jen)
  • "Love Became Your Name" -  Ben Pasley ("A Hammond B3 bluesy feel" - Larry)
  • "Moving On" - Mat Kearney ("Mat bears his heart and soul on this song" - Ann)
  • “Be Kind to Yourself” - Andrew Peterson ("God has wired us to need Him" - Kevin)
  • “American Beauty” - Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors ("All the elements of a timeless classic" - Lindsay)
  • "Oh Light" – Gungor ("Original, ambient, worshipful" - John)
  • "Brand New” – Ben Rector ("The best straight-up pop song of the year" - Dave)
  • "I’ve Been Here Before” - Sara Groves ("You can't help but pray and sing along" - Kevin)
  • "Your Love Is Enough" - Jon Foreman ("His love is enough" - Ann)
  • "Too Good" -  Jess Ray  ("Will impact your understanding of God" - Larry)
  • “Glow in the Dark” - Jason Gray ("Feels like a breakthrough" - Russ)
  • “Do the Same” - Aryn Michelle ("A transparent, vulnerable and moving ballad" - Kevin)
  • "My One Safe Place" - Andrew Peterson ("Fully realizes the beauty and mystery of marriage" - Jen)
  • “Night Girl: Nycteris Sees the Sun”–Timbre ("This song alone is worth the cost" - John)
  • “I Will Follow You” – Burlap To Cashmere ("One of their career best" - Dave)
  • "Go Home" - Julien Baker ("A harsh confessional - ends with 'In Christ Alone' " - Matt)
  • “Slow Down” - Nichole Nordeman ("Pulls at the heartstrings" - Lindsay)
  • "Breaking Heart" - Cindy Morgan ("The darkness of depression is a silent enemy" - Larry)
  • "If Only I Could” – New Ancestors ("Fell for them right away" - John)
  • “Heroes” - Amanda Cook ("You'll be blessed by this powerful song" - Kevin)
  • "Heartbreaker" - LEVV ("It’s oh so catchy" - Jen)
  • “Love Broke Thru" - TobyMac ("It’s rap, it’s pop, it’s gospel" - Russ)
  • “Deliverer” - Matt Maher ("Definitely a highlight" - Lindsay)
  • "Fake Roses" - The Lone Bellow ("Will have you reaching for repeat" - Matt)
  • “Ballad of Lonely Ghosts” – Color Therapy w/ Hammock ("The spookiest and coolest track" - John) 
  • "Tell Me Now Tennessee" - Leigh Nash ("A catchy and honest song" - Ann)
  • “The Storm” - Tree63 ("Allows us to dwell on the unshakable nature of God" - Kevin)

If you like finding and appreciating the BEST music being made by Christian songwriters, then UTR has a couple of bonus treats for you.  (1) We will be releasing two full episodes of UTR on 1/22 and 1/29 featuring many of these "top songs" selected by our critics.  (2) For the first time ever, we are giving away some of this music for free! You are welcome to download the UTR Best Songs of 2015 Sampler album, and you can add a handful of these songs to your music library for ZERO bucks!

We'd also love to get your comments.  Feel free to share ANY thoughts below -- but the main two questions are: Did you check out any of these songs for the first time after reading this list, and what was your reaction?  Are there any individual songs that would be on your personal list of the Top Songs of 2015?  

Comments (4)

This is a good list! My list would include Sandra McCracken’s “My Help, My God”, Sara Groves’ “Second Guess Girl” and “My Dream”, Andrew Peterson’s “The Rain Keeps Falling,” and “We Will Survive”, Cindy Morgan’s “Unbroken”, Drew Holcomb’s “Here We Go”, and Josh Garrels’ “Morning Light”. There are many others that I could add, but these would be at the top. Excited to check out the sampler!

NicoleVZ 11:55 AM Thu, Jan 14, 2016

Nicole your choices are spot on. Each critic has a limited number of “best songs” they can pick so that is why there are around 50. But all of your suggestions are worthy of notice in my opinion. Sandra McCracken’s Psalms is an excellent record and “My Help, My God” is a stellar song. The sampler should be interesting for you. Be sure to check out some of the newer entries here like forBrothers, Joel Ansett, Ben Pasley, Jess Ray, Vocal Few, and others. There were a lot of newer artists releasing outstanding records in 2015.

Larry S 05:43 PM Thu, Jan 14, 2016

Joel Ansett’s tragedy is not the end is phenominal.. I enjoyed all of this album. Would love to hear more of his stuff.

musicfan22 10:39 PM Sat, Jan 16, 2016

Completely agree about Joel Ansett!

Larry S 07:31 PM Fri, Jan 29, 2016

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