Top Seven Christian Artists

The year is coming to an end, and soon I’ll be making my top ten albums of the year list, but first I’d thought I’d write a list of seven of my very favourite Christian artists. I’ll give a brief description of each and a few sample songs.

7. Switchfoot

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Switchfoot are just one of those bands that continually make great records . Blending a mix of rock and pop with a surf/beach atmosphere makes Swtichfoot easily one of my very favourite bands in the Christian scene. My favourite album by them will always be the Beautiful Letdown, but others such as Vice Verses, Fading West, and Nothing is Sound are equally amazing in sound and lyrics that reflect and connect with the Christian’s life.

6. Sanctus Real

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While CCM might not be the most favoured genre of mine, Sanctus Real is easily one of its leaders. Beginning as a rock act and moving into and dominating the CCM scene these guys have both genres mastered. Their lyrics combine raw honesty with godly lyrics that are both worshipful, and encouraging. My favourite album by them is Fight the Tide with its more aggressive rock sound, but albums like We Need Each Other, and their newest, the Dream, are a more than fine example of what this band can offer.

5. Andrew Peterson

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Andrew Peterson is a sadly underrated artist in Christian music. His music blends an incredibly beautiful folk sound with poetic, insightful, and often deep lyrics.  While his music may not be CCM, nor mainstream, one can not help but be drawn to tears with songs like Come Back Soon, and the Reckoning. My favourite album by him is Light for the Lost Boy, but I’d highly recommend each one of his albums. He’s that good.

4.Wolves at the Gate

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Jumping up a few notches in intensity is easily one of the best metal/hardcore bands in the Christian scene today, and that’s with only two albums! These guys introduced me to the world of metal with their newest release, VxV, and since then, metal has been a highly favoured genre of mine. Musically they blend a mix of brilliant harsh vocals with cleans to produce a deliciously heavy, yet melodic sound. Their lyrics are some of the most godly, Christ-centered I have ever heard, from any artist. My favourite album by them is VxV, but I also highly recommend Captors.

3. The Violet Burning

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We’re now heading into legendary territory! The Violet Burning are an unknown classic that make rock albums that are legendary in their own right. Blending a classic rock sound with a dark, goth like style make these guys a definite unique stand out. They have made what is my favourite album of all time: The Story of Our Lives, which you can read my review of here. Lyrically they’re very worshipful and encouraging and I’d highly recommend all of their albums. You can download the Story of Our lives for free here

2. Needtobreathe

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Needtobreathe. Well apart from being my number one favourite band, these guys produce some of the best folk/rock I’ve ever heard. Lead singer Bear Rhinehart has just the best vocals in rock I’ve heard in a long time. While not an explicitly Christian band, their lyrics speak about subjects that are relative to our Christian walk and lives. They went mainstream with their album, the Reckoning, and have toured with many big name artists. Their new record, Rivers in the Wasteland, ranks as my favourite, but honestly, I can call all of their albums my favourite. Their song, the Heart, released back in March, is one of the best, most joyful, carefree pieces of music I’ve heard in years. I’d highly recommend each one of their incredible albums.

1. Sleeping at Last

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Wow, what can I say, this guy’s music is simply magical. Without a doubt, my number one favourite music artist ever, and again, though not explicitly Christian (you’re not going to hear anything akin to worship music) his music is just anointed. In fact, that’s the word I’d use to describe this man’s work. Lyrically his songs can be very poetic, and if not listened to closely, it would be hard to tell what he’s singing about, but once you do, it blows you away. Lyrics such as, “With shortness of breath I’ll explain the infinite, how rare and beautiful, it truly is that we exist,” from Saturn, and, “Darkness exists to make light truly count,” from Uneven Odds makes Ryan O’ Neal’s music enchanting, haunting, but encouraging and beautiful at the same time. The lyrics alone are enough to bring any to tears, but coupled with the music, there aren’t many words to describe the emotions. So to end this post, though it’s nearly impossible to just pick a couple of his songs, I’ll give you four. Just turn off the lights, close your eyes, and let the music sink in and tell me you don’t have wet eyes.

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5 thoughts on “Top Seven Christian Artists

  1. Great list. I’m somewhat surprised to see Switchfoot at the bottom, but I guess that’s just taste. A lot of bands I listen to are Christian, but don’t openly identify themselves as such. However, they still write lyrics with undeniably Christian themes. To respect their privacy, I’ll share my favorite openly Christian artists (in no particular order):
    Gungor
    Switchfoot
    Owl City
    Matthew Parker
    Colony House
    Service Unicorn
    John Mark McMillan
    U2 gets an honorable mention

    1. Thanks EJ! Yeah, I was struggling to figure out where Switchfoot would land, but I’ve been a Sanctus Real fan for a lot longer, and their music has impacted me more on a spiritual level, so I had to put them higher. And I’m the same as you with what music I listen to. Most of my favourite artists are ones that aren’t strictly “Christian” artists but are more relatable in my everyday walk with the Lord and in life. And there is so much anointed stuff out there that isn’t worship. And as you can probably tell, I have a wild taste of music. I just love everything, even rap!

      That’s a brilliant list as well! I’ve heard Colony House’s album, but unfortunately it’s not available here in Australia (on itunes, nor in shops) but it is available to stream on Spotify and it’s great. And U2 are great as well, even their new record which they gave away for free. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Owl City, at least not his Midsummer Station album. As for the others you listed, I have never even heard of them, so of course that means more artists to discover!
      God bless!

      1. Well, I’m giving away Colony House’s album next week on my blog, so there’s that…

        Midsummer Station was a letdown, and I’m also not a huge fan of All Things Bright and Beautiful, but his newest and oldest stuff is really good, and I included him because of his mainstream permeation. I would check out his Ultraviolet EP. I was pleasantly surprised by how much he had improved from his last album.

        Definitely check out some of those artists I listed. I interviewed Service Unicorn and Matthew Parker, as you may remember, and I reviewed JMM earlier this year. I got to see Gungor live in March, and they absolutely blew me away.

      2. I remember that interview with Service and I checked out his music on noisetrade. Admittedly it wasn’t really my style, but I did enjoy a few songs.

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