You’ll never hear these six incredible artists on Christian radio, and they quite prefer it that way. While all of these artists write from a faith-based perspective, they choose to take a worldview that encompasses all aspects of life, riding that fine line between the sacred and the secular. You’ll find glimpses of their faith amidst their lyrics, and you’ll get lost in their vocals. Do yourself a favor, and check out these six artists before the day is over. You won’t regret it.
For Fans of: The Civil Wars, Elenowen, Striking Matches
Latest Album: Diamonds
Best Current Cut: “Diamonds”
Why You Should Be Listening: This husband/wife duo, comprised of singer-songwriters Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano, originally met after a church service in Franklin, Tenn. Years later, they reconnected and began writing together, eventually marrying in 2009. Their unique blend of soul, folk and pop meld together on a flawless debut that accentuates their lush harmonies and puts them in an undefined genre that makes them all the more intriguing. Sudano also happens to be the daughter of the late Donna Summer. If that’s not enough, one look at the couple’s press pic, and you’ll see why she was also a former Louie Vitton model. Her singing voice is every bit as beautiful as she as, and when blended with her husband’s achingly soulful vocals and their combined lyrical prowess, this duo is poised for big things.
For Fans of: Brandon Heath, Matthew West, Dave Barnes
Latest Album: The Walking In Between
Best Current Cut: “Making Money”
Why You Should Be Listening: Belmont alum Ben Rector has an entire discography of albums that you need to download. However, his latest, The Walking In Between, reveals the young 20-something at his finest. Rector has a penchant for turning a phrase into an extraordinary story. His ability to challenge people’s opinions and perspectives in the most polite way is brilliant. He opened for NEEDTOBREATHE’s “Reckoning” tour in 2012, and his current candid full-length was produced by Jamie Kenney and Charlie Peacock, as well as self-produced by Rector. He’s currently in the studio with Ed Cash working on his sixth project.
For Fans of: Brooke Fraser, Ellie Holcomb, Nichole Nordeman
Latest Album: Daydream
Best Current Cut: “Sink My Feet”
Why You Should Be Listening: This Texas-bred singer-songwriter’s voice is so light and airy, her music is like a dream. Her lyrics are oftentimes ambiguous and read like one vintage love letter after another. Fans of strong female songwriters will eagerly hit “repeat” on Edwards’ third project, Daydream. Her delightful pop ballads are lush, full and magical, transporting the listener to an entirely new place. Edwards is married to Steven Curtis Chapman‘s son, Will, and currently lives in Franklin, Tenn. Her father-in-law has bragging rights, and uses them often.
For Fans of: Rend Collective, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers
Latest Album: The Lone Bellow
Best Current Cut: “Tree to Grow”
Why You Should Be Listening: This trio captures the essence of southern charm. Their tightly knit harmonies set them apart in a landscape brimming with Americana music. Their folk stylings immediately draw listeners in, thanks to lyrics that challenge thought and provoke conversation, without being controversial. The Brooklyn-based group–comprised of Zach Williams, Brian Elmquist and Kanene Pipkin–recorded their debut with Charlie Peacock at the helm at Nashville’s Art House. They are currently working on a much-anticipated follow-up. Incidentally, Pipkin in the sister of Tenth Avenue North’s Mike Donehey.
For Fans of: for KING & COUNTRY, Satellites & Sirens, Kings of Leon
Latest Album: When I Was Younger (releases July 22)
Best Current Cut: “Silhouettes”
Why You Should Be Listening: Brothers Caleb and Will Chapman, along with longtime friend Scott Mills formerly played under the moniker of eldest brother Caleb’s first name. The alternative rock trio recently changed their name to Colony House (an ode to an apartment complex they all lived in at one time) and signed a major recording contract with Descendant Records. The band released an EP that gave fans a taste of what’s to come on their upcoming full-length debut, When I Was Younger, releasing July 22; and they’ve already made a name for themselves touring extensively the past several years, including a stint with Andrew Peterson. The Chapman brothers may be Steven Curtis’ sons, but they are seriously skilled musicians and songwriters in their own right, making dear ole dad proud with every appearance, and gaining a loyal legion of fans along the way.
For Fans of: Jars of Clay, Thad Cockrell, Coldplay
Latest Album: You Belong Here
Best Current Cut: “Mind Games”
Why You Should Be Listening: What began as an experimental side project for singer-songwriter Thad Cockrell and his friends Tyler Burkum (formerly of Audio Adrenaline) and Jeremy Lutito (longtime touring drummer for Jars of Clay and a host of other Christian artists), turned into a full-fledged new career. (Note: If you don’t know Thad Cockrell as a singer-songwriter, download To Be Loved right now. It’s incredible.) In a complete turnabout from Cockrell’s Americana-influenced solo musings, Leagues transforms Cockrell into a full-fledged frontman. The band’s alternative indie rock has proven quite the soundtrack, as Leagues’ music has found its way to several placements on film and TV, including a high-profile Bose commercial. The trio can currently be found in the studio putting the finishing touches on their sophomore effort.