26 2013 Faith Informed Albums

Buried in a lovely avalanche of great music:

26 Faith Informed Albums of 2013 Worth Listening To



What a tremendous year for faith informed music 2013 was! There were so many outstanding releases this year...we were buried in a lovely avalanche of great music. There are more I could list but I had to stop somewhere and decided 26 seemed like a good number (multiply the last two digits of the year by 2...why not?) with a few bonus honorable mentions.

Picking the best of any year is without a doubt a subjective task. Our ears and minds hear and process music differently based on so many factors. It's a very personal thing.

So this is my list. You will probably agree with some, hopefully, and disagree with some, unfortunately. I expect that. But my hope is that you will also discover some music and artists you may not have been aware of before. If that happens I will consider this a success.

This list is in alphabetical order only and no ranking is implied. The cutoff was 12/1/13.

Beatitude - Bill Mallonee. Bill Mallonee manages to produce quality music at an astounding rate. Listening to Bill Mallonee is like reading a good book - only better due to the great music. Beatitude is a full band record that continues the high level of artistry we have become accustomed to from Mallonee. All Bill Mallonee releases are available primarily at his Bandcamp site.

Beyond the Frame - Andy Gullahorn. Andy Gullahorn continues to write with remarkable insight. Sometimes I feel like he knows me and we've spent hours talking about life and faith. 


Bright Came the Word from His Mouth - Matthew Clark. This is the story of redemption skillfully written, performed, and produced; a wonderful musical journey through the Bible.

Come Back Soon - Tara-Leigh Cobble. Worship music that makes you feel like Tara-Leigh is in the room with you - personal, meaningful, and beautiful. This is a worship record that will lead you to a deeper experience with God.


Desire Like Dynamite - Sandra McCracken. Sandra McCracken is a brilliant songwriter as is evidenced in this record. A bit more production than some of her past records but nothing is wasted.

Dig Here Said the Angel - Daniel Amos. It's been 37 years since Daniel Amos released their first record and Dig Here Said the Angel is quite possibly their best. Terry Scott Taylor is among the most talented songwriters of our generation and the writing here ranks with his best work. This is music to savor.

Dolorosa - Bill Mallonee. It's almost beyond belief that Bill Mallonee could create two records of such quality in one year, and these were not the only two he released. You could basically read my Beatitude remarks and reapply here. And Dolorosa actually raises the bar. Incredible.

Feed Your Soul - Christa Wells. Feed Your Soul is filled with songs of healing and encouragement that will touch you right where you live. Christa Wells writes music that can change your life.


Fortunate Fall - Audrey Assad. Fortunate Fall is most beautiful record of 2013, absolutely stunning music and lyrics with ancient melodies woven throughout. This is a devotion oriented record that will grow your soul and focus your faith.

I Am Mountain - Gungor. A bit different in lyrical content than past releases and some more electronic sounds in the mix, but definitely in keeping with Gungor’s creative and original sound.

Inland - Jars of Clay. Over the years, Jars of Clay has created plenty of memorable music. This release is no different. A must for all Jars fans and even if you have not been a fan in the past, it's worth listening to.

Loved - JJ Heller. Almost perfect pop music executed with exquisite taste. JJ Heller successfully expands her musical soundscape with this release. She writes songs that are at the same time accessible and filled with spiritual depth.

Meet Me At The Edge Of The World - Over the Rhine. A double length record from Over the Rhine seems too good to be true. And it's just as good as one would expect. First track to last track brilliance.

Moment - Waterdeep. More clever pop music of the highest caliber from the Chaffers with a surprising cover song thrown in this time. But clever does not mean light and happy pop music, and that's a wonderful thing.

More Than Rubies - More Than Rubies. Christa Wells and Nicole Witt combine on this release of worship and devotional music that will grow you and grow in you. Their somewhat differing styles complement each other beautifully.

Originator - Brooke Waggoner. Brooke Waggoner continues to create wonderfully complex mini pop masterpieces. Originator is a magical ride of organic sounds and thought provoking lyrics. Brooke Waggoner's music belongs in its own separate category.

P.M. - Phil Madeira. Bluesy/Americana music that would sound good across many decades from one of Nashville’s most talented musicians. Phil Madeira is also quite the wordsmith and the lyrics reflect that. Add those lyrics to the timeless well produced music and you have one highly listenable album.

Postcards From The End of Time - Chris Taylor. Chris Taylor continues to independently produce outstanding records. Postcards from the End of Time is loaded with outstanding tracks both muisically and lyrically. This record released early in 2013 is one of many from Chris Taylor available at his Bandcamp site. (Also check out his recently released Traveler's Hotel).

Posters - Strahan. Stripped down acoustic based music with outstanding vocals and some stunning harmonies. The music is woven through with wonderfully devotional lyrics.

Reunion - Fiction Family. Fiction Family = Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) + Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek). This all adds up to one of the best of 2013. There are some vintage Jon Foreman songs here. And if you consider yourself a believer you need to listen to "God Badge."

Sing Over Me - Kate Hurley. Kate Hurley has created a unique project, songs written from God's perspective, as if He is singing them to us. This is a record that will leave you feeling secure and loved.

Seven Stars - Chris Haines. This record is packed with interesting music and wonderfully cobbled lyrics with strong theological underpinnings. His previous release But God is also worth checking out.

The Invisible - Daniel Bashta. Daniel Bashta's worship music is refreshing and unique. In the often cookie-cutter world of worship music this record stands out as raw, real, and awakening.


The Water & the Blood - Dustin Kensrue. The second solo record for the former leader of the band Thrice. This release maintains the high quality found in all of Thrice’s releases.

Till & Mule - Julie Lee. Julie Lee is a tremendous songwriter and has a keen sense of adorning her music with just the right touches. And you just might hear a Joni Mitchell vibe here and there. 

Where Eyes Don't Go - The Gray Havens. The Gray Havens were the best new artist of 2013. Influenced by JRR Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, this record overflows with originality and creativity, and is packed with outstanding vocals and brilliant arrangements.

And here are the bonus honorable mentions: Above Earth's Lamentation - Sarah Hart; Joy Deep as Sorrow - Bob Bennett; All Things New - Sherri Muchira; I Was Wrong I'm Sorry & I Love You - Derek Webb; Good Light - Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors; The Walking in Between - Ben Rector.

The Verses Project does not fit into any particular year but did release a number of songs during 2013, in fact approximately one per week! The Verses Project describes itself as providing musical and visual art to help people memorize and meditate on scripture. You will find many of the songs excellent, well worth downloading. Did I mention that it is free? Indeed. Check out the Verses Project.

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