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Best Albums & Songs of 2015 (So Far)

posted: June 26th, 2015 by Larry S

Yes, 2015 is shaping up to be a stellar year once again for gourmet music. We at Under the Radar continue to be amazed at the depth and quality of the music being produced by Christian artists. Below the UTR Critics Panel cite their choices of the music that most inspired them for the first half of 2015 (in no particular order). Be sure to give a listen, you won’t be disappointed, and will likely be enriched by new discoveries.

[Music qualified if it was released between 12/1/14 and 6/1/15, and was created by a Christian artist/songwriter]

BEST ALBUM PICKS (2015A):

  • Waterdeep - Waterdeep ("Such variety and attention to detail that it is mind-boggling")
  • Hymns for Her - Dave Barnes ("Shines in its simplicity")
  • Just Kids - Mat Kearney ("Exploring themes of home and identity") 
  • Push - Riki Michele ("A sound that will be a balm to your soul")
  • Brother - The Brilliance ("A haunting musical liturgy")
  • Medicine - Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors ("Full of heart and truth")
  • Little Songs - Jon Guerra ("Beautifully accessible")
  • Flesh - Andrew Osenga ("The guitar solos rip with joy")
  • Fire and Stone - The Gray Havens ("Endlessly interesting lyrics, vocals, and music")
  • Carrie & Lowell - Sufjan Stevens ("The artist cries and confesses, bleeds and beckons")
  • Saints and Sinners - Matt Maher ("Eleven tracks of vertical offerings to God")
  • Little Bird - Misty Edwards ("Misty's love letters to God")
  • Come In - Children 18:3 ("One catchy and meaningful song after another")
  • Believer - Trent Dabbs ("Takes it up a notch") 
  • Sing My Welcome Home - Pacific Gold ("Classic pop built upon the lovely bones of old hymns")
  • 24 Hour Conspiracy - Scott Krippayne & Regie Hamm ("A solid collection of well-crafted pop songs")
  • Then Came The Morning - The Lone Bellow ("Stretching and challenging their own limits")
  • Home - Josh Garrels ("A warm, rich and reflective set") 
  • Shadow Shows - Seryn ("Really came into their own on this one")
  • West EP – Luke Dowler ("Powerful and heartfelt")
  • Brothers and Sisters – The Vespers ("So much stylistic diversity")
  • Breathe – Alli Rogers ("Restrained, poetic, and beautiful")

BEST SONG PICKS (2015A):

  • “Into Peace” - Riki Michele ("Jazzy, graceful and classy")
  • "4th of July" - Sufjan Stevens ("A heartbreaking song in the best possible way")
  • "Terminal" - Jon Foreman ("Leads the adventure in a strong way")
  • "Black Cloud" - Andrew Osenga ("Some truly compelling songwriting here")
  • "American Beauty" - Drew Holcomb & The Neigbors ("All the elements of a timeless classic")
  • “Seas of Crimson” - Daniel Bashta ("Amazing passion...with unashamed praise")
  • "Every Little Song" - Jon Guerra ("A modern Davidic Psalm")
  • “Little Bird” - Misty Edwards ("Misty trusts in the Lord throughout this brilliant song")
  • “Born Again” - Josh Garrels ("Found his creative core and bored deep into it")
  • "Mississippi" - Dave Barnes ("Could listen to these strings all day")
  • “I Was A Cynic” - Andrew Osenga ("Osenga’s expected wit...cranked up to the limit")
  • “The Unmaking” - Nichole Nordeman ("Thought-provoking lyrics about making changes in our lives")
  • "Lazy with Love" - Copperlily ("One of the best songs...about marriage")
  • “Whatever It Takes” - Andrew Osenga ("About...finding the strength to change and persevere")
  • “My Deliverer” - Matt Maher ("Lyrically and musically different than anything he’s ever done")
  • "Eugene" - Sufjan Stevens ("Poetic and poignant, lyrically and musically")
  • “Watch Over Us” - The Lone Bellow ("Lush harmonies and sparse instrumentation")
  • "Place From Where I Fell" - Elenowen ("Amazing spiritual and emotional vulnerability")
  • "A Feral Praise" - Balla Dear ("The most unique praise song of the year so far")
  • "I Am Me" - Gracie Schram ("Amazing maturity at age 16 and a beautifully restrained sound")
  • “Story of an Immigrant” - Civil Twilight ("Repeated listens...every time")
  • “Fake Roses” - The Lone Bellow ("It’s pure bliss")
  • "Flesh and Bone" - Matthew Clark ("A truly extraordinary composition")
  • “The Long Way” - Josh Garrels ("A haunting, layered track")
  • "Carry The Fire" -  Dustin Kensrue ("Intense and apocalyptic, but its message is hope") 
  • "Thirst No More" - The Vespers ("Paints some beautiful lyrical pictures")
  • “Glory Bound” by Matt Maher ("An infectious chorus")
  • "Far Kingdom" - The Gray Havens ("A wonderful look forward to the kingdom to come")
  • "He Split The Rock" - The McCrary Sisters ("Soulful, bluesy, and worshipful")


And now want to hear from YOU! Do you agree or disagree with the panel? And, most importantly, do YOU have additions to this list to share with the panel and the other UTR listeners?

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