1. “Death was Arrested” by North Point Inside Out
I had never heard of this band, which is both surprising and not surprising at the same time. North Point Inside Out is the worship band for the high school ministry of North Point Church in Alpharetta, GA. So, on the one hand I am not sure why anyone outside of that church should know about them. The answer to that question, however, is that they released two albums that were charted on Billboard magazine. In other words, they’ve made an impression, especially in worship music. This particular song is a beautiful meditation on the gospel of grace and the life believers have in Christ’s death. It’s a perfect song to reflect on in light of the coming Resurrection Sunday.
2. “Close” by North Point Inside Out (featuring Lauren Daigle)
Having never heard of North Point Inside Out until our worship team performed one of their songs, I decided to investigate more of their work. I stumbled onto this song and was drawn in. The song features contemporary worship vocalist Lauren Daigle. Lauren’s voice is amazing and she evidences its quality on this song too. The song sounds like a passionate prayer to draw closer to God.
3. “When I Go Down” by Relient K
I’ve apparently been resisting old Relient K music as of late. From their acclaimed 2004 album Mmhmm, this song is a reflection on the pain of failure and the love of God that lifts us up again in grace and compassion. It’s really a beautiful meditation that blends sorrow and hope.
4. “Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes is an amazing and critically acclaimed indie folk band. Their music often touches on the pursuit for truth and navigates themes in a compelling and unique fashion. This song is just one, very good, example of that. The title track off of their 2011 release, begins by reflecting on the value of being part of something bigger than self. So, Robin Pecknold sings:
I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I’d say I’d rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me
Dismissing individualism over participation in communal value, he wants to be part of something greater. The trouble of course, as he references and as the song title suggests, he’s not sure how to do all of that. It’s really a deep an insightful song with amazing musical performances. The changes in tempo and sound within the same song are fantastic.
5. “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison
This is possibly one of the greatest songs of all time! The song is a spiritual quest, and intertwines ideas of that existential pursuit with romantic love. It is one of those few songs that seems like it was perfectly written, like its music and lyrics were born at the exact same moment. It’s usually a song I find myself indulging in at the start of spring, when sun light begins to break through.