The Musical Emporium
What We Are All about!
We are a weekly radio show on The Lighthouse FM 89.3 that seeks to help you experience new music that uplifts Jesus in a variety of styles. From hip-hop to folk to pop-rock to intimate ballads we want to show the diversity of music that Christians are making to glorify their maker!
The Down-low on our Info-(mation)
Tune In to The Lighthouse FM 89.3 Saturdays 8 - 10 PM or listen online.
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Music We love
Ghost Of A King
Rarely have I been so blown away by a group I had no prior knowledge of, but The Gray Havens are just that amazing! Their sophomore album "Ghost of a King" has re-awakened my hope in more traditional Christian music, with its profound lyrics that paint pictures of our faith that we always longed for but didn't have the right vocabulary to express. The married duo delve into the the grand story of grace, our consistent distraction with the treasures of this life, and the beautiful absurdity of God longing to be with us (From Garden, to present, to eternity) in creative and joyful ways that make you think and sing! Don't miss The Gray Havens cause I believe they are here to stay, and lets face it, we all like being ahead of the curve.
Children Of God
So I was wrong. When this album first came out for pre-sale I thought, "meh, I'll look at it when it comes out". This album isn't just the best of Phil Wickham, it is just plain great music that gets us focused on the majesty of our great God. It feels like the transformation that started with "This Is Amazing Grace" was finished in "Children Of God". With break out dance worship songs like "Your Love Awakens Me" and "Children Of God" paired with the contemplatives like "Star Maker" and "The Secret Place" the album is balanced, articulate, and able to speak to anyone who picks it up where they are. If you were a Phil Wickham skeptic (guilty) make sure to give this album a solid listen and realize that Phil Wickham is not just a splash in the pool, he is making waves that could change the shape of worship for years to come!
The City Harmonic has been a band expertly blending worship, theology, and artistic originality through their albums, and with "We Are" they succeed once again. While the idea/reality of unity is the predominant theme throughout the album it is specifically how we are made one in the freedom found in Christ. Beautifully book-ended with songs "We Are One" and "We Are" the album is a whole experience, while individual tracks are incredible it shines exponentially more when seen as for what it is: part of the whole. Just as we are part of the whole, incomplete apart from each other. If you are looking for catchy worship tunes, re-imagined classics (like "Solid Rock"), or #1 jams this album has it all so don't miss it!
Graceful Closure: REV
It seems that anyone can make music that says the name Jesus, and often it doesn't really represent Jesus well. That's not what Graceful Closure chose to do. Their crowd funded album never names Jesus but is all about his business, that of setting captives free and bringing the dead to life! Their unconventional sound and laser focused message create an album that builds bridges instead of walls. Standout tracks (for me) include "Ruins" which so uniquely vocalizes our need for community and empathy, also "I'll Find You" combines classical strings with grooving beats that just get your body moving while reminding us that there is so much more to this life then just moving. While it only is 5 tracks they mention in passing that they wrote over 20 songs in preparation for the album, so i wait impatiently for the deluxe version!
One Wild Life: Soul
If you have wrestled with the conflicts between science and religion, fundamentalism and radical liberalism, Us and Them, then this album is your happy place. Birthed from a place of great struggle, hurt, and disappointment this art pours forth a new anthem: declaring joy and love in the face of division and exclusion! Gungor takes a radical stand in their new album saying that no matter what side of what issue you are on we should be and are for you and with you. While some would say this is blanket agreement it is anything but that, it is love not based on reciprocity, it's Christ like love that loves unto it's own death. This album is musically and lyrically beautiful and seeks healing of old wounds that we have sought to ignore or act as if they are un-reconcilable, but perhaps even more wonderful is that it's only the first in a trio of albums they will be releasing over the next year! Pick this up soon and then blare it til everyone is reconciled to everyone else ever!!!...or at least pick up this album :)
You Are The Avalanche
While John Mark McMillan has been a staple of Musical Emporium programming this new EP is his first joint venture with his wife Sarah McMillan. While often times JMM would let artistry and creativity lead, this album is more focused on creating worshipful moments of community while not ignoring artistry. If you long for the days of "How He Loves" this is the closest we have come in years from JMM, and it feels like a natural evolution out of his last album Borderlands (see below). As well in the videos for this album John sports a beard to make our hipster friends proud!
Hillsong UNITED has been a well known name in Christian music for a while but this new album definitely is a turn for them. They have fully embraced slower contemplative synth based worship in this album, and personally I think it is lyrically and musically their deepest and most engaging album of date. If you are looking for the grand anthems of live Hillsong albums this is not it, but if you want to dwell on how God holds the wholeness of time in His being then you will not only enjoy this album but you will find an oasis of worship that you will return to again and again.
With their self titled debut album they hit the ground running with a very diverse and original sound that still focuses on worship. This fun EP lets you see the breadth of what this band could be and sets the seeds of hope for a possible full-length album in the future. A highlight song for me was Scars, as it used that one word title to examine ourselves, our pasts, and our ability to relate to the person of Jesus with intricate lyrical work. Check them out and be one of the first to put on your hipster glasses with the band Felling Giant.
Run WIld. Live Free. Love Strong
For King & Country has been a rising star in Christian music for a while now and their most recent album is a testament to why: they are freaking Amazing!!! This album displays how they can be incredible entertainers while also crafting love songs, songs of deep faith, songs of deep questioning, and songs that just get you hyped! This album has something for everyone and in my humble opinion hasn't even began to scratch the surface of its content with the singles released, which to me are some of the less impressive tracks... and they are still really good! Seriously do yourself a favor and just listen to the clips on I-tunes, but make sure you have $10 available cause you will most likely clip the "purchase album" button, and BTW you're welcome :)
Recently I've been jamming out to full albums and this has been one of them, and I struggle to take it out of my CD player (yes I still spin CDs)! Josh Garrels inhabits the space between musical genres, while many of his songs have distinctively Christian imagery he also deals in truths that any listen can relate to. Songs like "Leviathan" and "Heaven's Knife" use such strong yet ambiguous imagery that you find yourself dwelling on them hours after they stopped humming in your ears. While other songs like the "The Arrow" leave you in wonder as he hits such high falsetto notes that seem reserved for the heroes of old. Through the entire album runs a continuous struggle with the fallen-ness of humanity and the beauty that can be found in the midst of it. Make sure to check out this album, it will inspire you to go on great adventures but remind you to always return back home.
The Troubadour Parade has started their career with a massive hit. Its hard to express what this album is, but one word does resound throughout: AWESOME!!! While the songs do have commonalities in theme and style they also show incredible diversity while not losing the unity of the whole. But perhaps most of all you can roll down the windows of your car and blare this music until your speakers collapse and have the time of your life. It's a beautifully blending of spirituality, social justice, and the best indie-pop sound ever. If you don't check out this album the only person losing is you.
The Brilliance has released a new full length album and it is phenomenal! Brother takes the best of The Brilliance and marries it with a heart-cry for unity and forgiveness in the midst of a divided and broken world. It challenges how we have drawn the boundaries of our faith and calls us to view even those who are against us as our brother. While The Brilliance has been on our radar for a while this new album firmly solidifies them as a staple for the future at the Musical Emporium.
We are The Advance
This Freshman album sounds like the product of years of professional experience and speaks both musically and lyrically to listeners no-matter their background. Songs like "There Is More", which explores the natural search for meaning and the temporal fulfillment we find in the pleasures of this world, contrast beautifully with "Give Us Faith" and "You" which express our need for the intervention by the divine in our life for any true meaning. Definitely check this album out, if it is the only one they ever create is worth having in your personal library, but we hope it is just the first in a long career in the music biz.
Fears Drowning/Hope Rising
This Dallas Texas based worship band is about community first, creating an intimate experience with fellow brothers and sisters that revolves around laughter, dreaming bigger, and (as all things should) food! Their music speaks life and of life, the life we are blessed with now and the new life that is coming, the gift eternal that was meant for all people (that none should parish but all will have eternal life). They also give their music away, which while seemingly is an awful business model speaks of a deeper desire: to be a blessing first and in such we may begin to see glimpses of that eternity and beauty we are longing for. With their lighthearted whimsical sound you can enjoy the day or evening with your close friends and dream bigger together and hope a little deeper.
Join The triumph
Citizens & Saints is the new iteration of the former band Citizens, and they maintain all their relevance, ingenuity, and impressive beardage that they were known for. While listening to Join The Triumph you will find yourself bobbing your head, bouncing in your seat then humming the melody for hours afterwards. But it's not just catchy music, every song speaks of the truth of who Christ is while pushing the boundaries of what worship music should look like. One of the best albums of the year and definitely worth the wait!
Becoming WHo We Are
Kings Kaleidoscope has lost some of their original raw-ness but chose to add a degree of electronic sonic underpinnings and their new sound still screams with creative awesomeness while showing that the group seeks to grow and stretch. Lyrically they flex their pecks with rhyming patterns that go from basic A-B-A-B to complexity that baffles simpletons like myself! Becoming Who We Are is an album you will put on repeat and forget you're not constantly listening to new music! Pick it up today to increase your awesomeness level by a factorial of 5!
Christine Cane has been a champion seeking to stop human trafficking for years, and now Remedy Drive has taken up the anthem as well! This whole album helps bring awareness to the plights of the victims while also constantly reminding us that they are people loved by God, who desires their freedom. One part awesome music, one part a cry for the afflicted, all a call for action from those in a position to make a difference. This is a problem we can't afford to ignore, and this album will remind us that every human is made in the image of God.
AnomalyNo Christian artist has made a name for himself in the music world like Lecrae has, and his most recent album takes the cake and eats it too. In Anomaly Lecrae both branches out into different styles of rap while sticking to his guns, calling out men to act like men, denouncing the glitz and glamour of fame, and reminding us that "all I need is you" (God). There is a reason this album reached #1, because it is amazing. I don't need to up-sell this album cause that would be a disservice, check it out and judge for yourself but I think you will agree with us that Lecrae has continued to be a innovator and driving force for change in Christian and secular music
Man, sometimes you wonder how you didn't about an artist and that's how I felt about David Dunn. His powerful vocals blend seamlessly with the pop/electonica musical background. Lyrically David Dunn doesn't hold back either, whether it is a modern re-interpretation of "It Is Well" or his belief that Christ-like love should cost our everything in "Nothing Left", he calls us to re-examine our inherited/unconscious beliefs to make sure they line up with who Christ claims to be. In the midst of this David Dunn maintains a positive uplifting attitude and consistently reminds us that nothing compares to the joy found in our creator! This EP is definitely worth the listen and you will most likely find yourself jamming out to it over and over again!
This EP was not what I expected, but instead went further and deeper then I thought this known entity, Tenth Avenue North, was capable of. Instead of focusing on the worship of our God it infuses the need for loving our fellow man as ourselves in order to be the love of God in and for the world. Songs like No Man Is An Island express the enter-connected-ness of our existence, that we are dependent on each other to reach the world and even to be complete as humans. Perhaps most stunning to me was "For Those Who Can't Speak" which apart from leading with rap styled verses calls us to take a stand for those have no voice for themselves, that we all will leave a legacy for either apathy or action. The EP as a whole delves deeper into issues of social justice and calls us to do likewise.
This album of Folk-tronica explores the struggles of faith while consistently showing the hope of front-porch home spun twang and the pulse driving force of electronic dance music (EDM)! If you are a fan of The David Crowder Band then this album feels like a natural extension of what has been brewing all along in the bearded monster that is David Crowder! So if you want to square dance or jump to the beat, Neon Steeple is a great addition to your music library of awesomeness!
Canvases by Mike Young is a work of art depicting a wide variety of the experiences and emotions many Christians go through, but expressed through the means of spoken word poetry. While listening you will be encouraged to dream and believe in the future God has for you, reminded of the way God sees us: as completely beautiful, and humbled by the knowledge that we are all equally broken before the Gather but also acknowledging that He is the healer of that brokenness! having experienced these poems live it is hard for me to oversell this, to put it plainly the world needs more art like this.
John Mark McMillan has always pushed the edges of what defines Christian music or a Christian artist, and Borderland continues in that vein. There isn't a "How He Loves" on this album but throughout you see distinct references to his Christian faith. Overall the album isn't what anyone would consider a worship album but we will still find yourself worshiping during songs like "Future/Past", "Love at the End" and "Heart Runs". If you enjoy music that challenges you as the listener to dig into the lyrics and not just take the surface value of words then Borderland is for you. Also if you are part of the hipster movement I maintain the John Mark McMillan is the original hipster.
Instruments of Mercy
Beautiful Eulogy is a Seattle based rap trio that consistently fuses the desire for good art and theologically sound doctrine into music that confronts us where we are and calls us to a higher way of living: a life of holiness. While lyrically they don’t shy away from topics such as "are there multiple paths heaven" and "the roll of mercy in our faith", the beats they drop equally mirror their lyrical boldness. If you are tired of hearing content-less rhythms and catchy hooks with no purpose then Instruments of Mercy will show you that there is still good rap out there that is good for you!