1. “Whistleblower” by Thrice
To Be Everywhere is to Be Nowhere is the band’s first post-reunion album, after a four-year hiatus. The band’s frontman, Dustin Kensrue, was worship pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle during those hiatus years, where he pursued a solo career and several worship projects (including The Modern Post). This album is a strong return to the band’s post-hardcore sound. “Whistleblower” is a good representation of their sound and highlights a number of personal and political themes. The song is about accountability and exposing abuses in leadership. It is said that the song reflects both Kensrue’s experiences at Mars Hill with Mark Driscoll and is also a reflection on Edward Snowden.
2. “Drive” by Plankeye
The Spark is one of the greatest Christian rock albums of all time. “Drive” is a gritty grunge rock song that cries out for God, “Please take my life.” A great song from a great band about a great subject!
3. “Into the Dark” by The Juliana Theory
The Juliana Theory announced last year that the band was getting back together, which is exciting for fans. Emotion is Dead, the album from which this song comes, was TJT at their best. “Into the Dark” was the first track on that record and it still holds up as a quality emo song. It focuses on someone’s struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, and the role that loved ones can and should play in offering help. A powerful song on a powerful subject.
4. “Don’t Mess Around with Jim” by Jim Croce
This famous song is the title track off of the third studio release from Croce. As with his other songs it tells a short narrative about a tough guy who gets taken down. The song played on a recent road trip and I couldn’t get it out of my head.
5. “Moondance” by Van Morrison
Moondance is one of my favorite records of all time. Van Morrison has a great sound and writes some powerful songs, both musically and lyrically. This title track is a beautiful representation of Morrison’s jazz influences, and is his most heavily influenced jazz composition. It has become regarded as a “standard” or classic, with various covers being performed over the years.