New Music for the New Year
by Ginny McCabe
Here’s a glimpse of 5 new and upcoming albums from pop and rock to worship and gospel.
WOW Hits 2018 Deluxe Edition delivers some of Christian music’s top artists and songs. The project captures 36 songs on 2 CDs, and features songs by artists like Hillsong United, Jeremy Camp, Casting Crowns, for KING & COUNTRY, Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin and many more. A few of the songs on the effort include “Broken Things” by Matthew West, “I Have This Hope” by Tenth Avenue North, “King of the World” by Natalie Grant, “Stars” by Skillet, “Love Broke Thru” from TobyMac, “Rise” by Danny Gokey, “Forgiven” from Crowder and more. The deluxe edition offers six more songs than the standard edition. Plus, the project includes three bonus songs from up-and-coming Christian artists.
Multi-Platinum artist, bestselling author and acclaimed actor Michael W. Smith will release his newest album, A Million Lights, on February 16 from Rocketown Records and The Fuel Music. A Million Lights was fueled by the divisive national sentiment of 2017 and the mean-spirited banter on social media. “About half the album was written in response to where we are as a nation,” says Smith. “In the age of social media, people have forgotten how to talk with one another, to be civil. If you put these same people in a room together, what was once an agenda becomes a conversation.” One of the first songs to be written for the new album was “Conversation,” which addresses the paradox of modern technology making it easier to speak at rather than with people. Exploring new sounds, Smith enlisted multi-platinum producer and songwriter Bryan Todd (Miley Cyrus and Rascal Flatts) and songwriter Kyle Lee to help flesh out the vision for his songs. “A Million Lights,” the title track of the album, is now available on all digital platforms and it can be heard on major Spotify playlists like “Top Christian.” Throughout his career, Michael has written 32 No. 1 singles and been honored with three Grammy Awards and 45 Dove Awards. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has sold more than 15 million albums. Since mid-November, Michael has been touring his annual Christmas Tour with Amy Grant, Jordan Smith and a full symphony orchestra. For more than 30 years, Smith has been releasing new music and performing sold-out concerts all over the world. Connect with Michael W. Smith online at www.michaelwsmith.com.
Multi-Platinum singer, songwriter, producer and drummer, Eddie Hedges has released a new independent album, No Greater Love. Hedges has traveled the globe with the pop sensation Blessid Union of Souls and performed as a solo artist for more than three decades. Throughout his critically-acclaimed career, as a founding member and drummer of Blessid Union of Souls, the group became known for a string of hits that included “I Believe,” “I Wanna Be There,” “Light in Your Eyes,” “Let Me Be The One” and “Hey Leonardo.” Blessid Union of Souls amassed sales of more than two million units. Hedges says No Greater Love was inspired by the call for us to love one another. As Scripture exemplifies in John 15:13 (NIV), “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” That mission is put into action through songs on the project like “Jesus Saves.” “There is no greater love than the love of the Father. This album was born out of God’s unconditional love for us, and the songs serve as a reminder for us to selflessly love one another,” Hedges says. Other standouts on the 10-song project include “Power In the Name,” “Your Love Overcomes,” “I Surrender” and “Higher Ground.” Eddie’s new song “Power in the Name” is being played on iHeartRadio Christian stations. www.eddiehedges.com
Chart-topping rockers Remedy Drive will release The North Star on January 12. Produced by Philip Zach, the 12-song collection of songs draws from a range of sonic influences—from ‘80s electronic, to ‘90s grunge, to modern hip-hop—giving a voice to millions of human trafficking victims around the world, as well as educating and inspiring individuals to join the anti-slavery movement. The project’s highlights include the opening song, “You Got Fire,” featuring Dove Award-winning recording artist Rachael Lampa and the debut single and title inspiration, “Polaris” as well as “Sunlight On Her Face,” which offers a heart-wrenching glimpse into slavery; and “Sanctuary,” which showcases a poem from hip-hop and spoken-word recording artist Propaganda. Remedy Drive has garnered 10 Top 20 singles and released 11 critically acclaimed recordings since their inception in 1998. The band’s 2014 recording, Commodity, and 2016’s Hope’s Not Giving Up, spotlight their ongoing commitment to fighting slavery. Music from Remedy Drive has been heard on NBC, SpeedTV and VH1. Check out Remedy Drive online at remedydrive.com, and follow the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On January 26, Integrity Music will release a live recording, Songs Of Heaven & Earth, from Tennessee-based songwriter and worship leader Corey Voss. The project, Voss’s full-length debut, explores the transformative power of praise, celebrating the Creator with lyrics drawn from Scripture and inspired by His creation. The release is a follow-up to his five-song digital EP, Songs Of Heaven & Earth, which featured the song “Canyons” with Krissy Nordhoff. A few of the highlights on the project include “The King Is Here,” “Lift Oh Gates,” “Praise The King,” “God Who Moves The Mountains,” “As It Is In Heaven” (featuring Michael Farren & Alisa Turner) and more. Voss serves as the worship pastor of Gateway Church in Shelbyville, TN. Voss has also written songs with and for other artists, such as “I Will Call” featured on Jaci Velasquez’s album Trust and Selah’s hit “I Got Saved.” Check out Corey Voss online at http://www.coreyvoss.com or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @coreyvoss.