Independent Christian Music

I realize that the drab title of this post doesn’t really grab ya and draw you in but if you enjoy good music (especially those that reflect our faith) then I think you’ll want to keep reading.

Thanks to the internet and podcasts like the Bored-again Christian I have been able to find some music this past year that would otherwise have been impossible to discover. Many of the artists featured on the BAC are independent. That is they either self-finance and distribute their recordings or they are on a small label that handles their recording but the artist still does most of their own promotion and distribution. I never realized there was so much overlooked Christian talent out there. Many of these artists have managed to get their music onto the iTunes Store and some even offer tracks for free on their websites or other sites like purevolume.com. It is amazing to see “art”come back to music. These artists lay aside trends, popularity, and the playing of the record industry game and just make music that they enjoy playing with content that upholds what they believe.

One artist that surprised me when I discovered him was John Davis. I could not figure why the voice on the song I was hearing sounded so familiar. Then I found out: he is the former lead singer of the secular band Superdrag, who had a hit in the nineties entitled “Sucked Out”. His style has changed some and his message has changed drastically. You can find some great demos on his website and download them for free in the Media section of johndavismusic.com. I highly suggest the track “Watch Me Walk Away”. Also his latest posted update to his site tells of his recent opportunity to record for Tooth and Nail Records’ upcoming Christmas album. You can download the song “Jesus Is Real (God Is Alive)” from within that post. It starts off with a droning, eastern feel but has a great The Who-esque finale.

Andrew Osenga is another such artist. If you recognize the name it is because he also plays for Caedmon’s Call and The Normals. But in my opinion his solo work is his best. He like John Davis has songs on iTunes and he has two tracks available for free download through his website. I recommend both. Andrew has also released Letters to the Editor Vol. 1 a six-song acoustic e.p. consisting of songs written from ideas submitted by fans and supporters of his music. The album is available on iTunes for $6 but he also has made it available for free (or on a donation basis) for those who may not have the cash. He believes that this community aspect is at the heart of independent music.

Jack In the Pulpit, Pushstart Wagon (“Paul” is a great song), and Leaving Araby are some of the other bands that I’ve discovered. It is really inspiring to see these bands living out their dream and putting so much into making good music (whether or not they get filthy rich doing so).

Josh H.


2 Responses to “Independent Christian Music”

  1. September 7, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks for plugging Andy’s music! He’s one of the most honest and intelligent songwriters out there today, and that’s super hard to find in today’s Jesus-is-my-boyfriend Christian market. Of course, he’s not out to make “Christian” music as most of us are familiar with… he’s in it for the art. And that is why he’s at the top of my list, along with Andrew Peterson, Derek Webb, and Matthew Perryman Jones, and Shaun Groves.

  2. September 7, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Andy Osenga is really good. I first heard him on the BAC podcast. They played his song “After the Garden” and I was like “wow, this is unlike anything I’ve heard in a long time!”

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