Free Download: Future of Forestry – Young Man Follow EP

I was super excited to stumble onto this free download while digging through Noistrade’s back stock this last weekend. Future In Forestry has been on the scene for quite a while now, offering a more progressive version of the pop rock that has been prevalent in the industry lately. Its atmospheric and driving; like a mix of Sleeping At Last, U2, and the lighter sides of Thrice. More incredible is that it is the work, primarily, of one man, Eric Owyoung.

There is rarely a song that simply fits within the typical ‘band sound’ of bass, drums, and guitars. The songs are composed with counteractive melodies and intricate rhythms that give them an ethereal quality. Orchestral elements such as strings, timpani, pipe organ, and taiko drum are only a few instruments that lend their voice to such a unique sound. “I consider myself more like a conductor rather than in a band,” says Eric Owyoung. “My classical background taught me not to look so much at the singularity of the musician, but at the bigger picture, the music ‘scape’ that is being created by a collaborative team.”

After a few years on a major label, Owyoung has been quietly releasing EPs that out shine most of the rock that is being played on the radio. This year, he released Young Man Follow EP, and has decided to give it away as a gift. Listen below, consider donating, and enjoy.

Free Download:Least Of These – More Than Conquerors

Least Of These is a little worship outta Texas that play songs like they might never get to again. There is tones of conviction and emotion flowing through each track that make it really hard not to totally dive into their blend of garage/atmospheric rock. At times they sound a little like Cool Hand Luke, at others Thrice; but now matter what shade of their sound they are playing, it is the heart-breaking lyrics that make Least Of These a band you cant ignore.

Free Download: Ascend The Hill-O Ransomed Son

This is Ascend The Hill‘s 3rd album. Simply put it is the best thing they have ever done, and in my mind a strong contender for album of the year. Here is a little something I wrote about it in an article Im working on:

As I am writing this right now, am I listening (for the first time) to Ascend The Hill‘s latest album, O Ransomed Son. The band exists in the “genre” of worship music, or music that is supposed to inspire a state of worship and praise through song. The “genre” is well known in the church, and it takes many forms. Most people remember the choir on Sunday mornings, but in the last 20 or years most praise music involves full bands or acoustic guitars. If you attend a contemporary church, you know what I am talking about. The thing is, O Ransomed Son doesn’t really SOUND like a “worship” record. The song structures are not easy to follow, and the drumming is relentless. The vocals are raw, sometimes yelled more than sung, and most songs are lyrically longer than 5 Power-Point slides. Yes, they do a hymn, but they also have a song featuring the singer from Thrice. On a “worship” album. Doesn’t all of that seem strange to you?

Download O Ransomed Son by Ascend The Hill on Come&Live!

Free Download: Home Is Calling-Evening Lights

Mix The Fray, Coldplay, and a bit of Thrice-esque drive with healtfelt lyrics and a commitment to the Spirit, and you have Evening Lights. Home Is Calling usher in another quality release from Come&Live!.

Download Evening Lights by Home Is Calling over at Come&Live!

Music Video: Thrice-Promises

Here is the latest video from the mighty Thrice with their song “Promises”. The track comes off of their latest release, Major/Minor which of course was released to glowing reviews a few weeks back. Great song, great record, enjoy the video

New Releases For September 20th, 2011

gungor Ghosts Upon The Earth
Ghosts Upon The Earth

Brash Music
Buy now: Amazon

jamie grace one song at a time
One Song At A Time
Jamie Grace

Gotee Records
Buy now: Amazon

Katie Herzig-The Waking Sleep
The Waking Sleep
Katie Herzig

Downtown Records
Indie Pop
Buy now: Amazon

Leeland-The Great Awakening
The Great Awakening

Essential Records
Worship/Pop Rock
Buy now: Amazon

Matt Maher The Love In Between
The Love In Between
Matt Maher

Essential Records
Buy now: Amazon

The Reckoning

Atlantic Records


Vagrant Records
Buy now: Amazon

Live Videos Of Thrice Posted

thrice in exile

Below are some professionally shot videos of Thrice performing at this years Area4 Festival. Both videos really showcase how Thrice has earned their good by constantly putting a great shows, rather it be in front of 100 people at a club or thousands at festivals like these. Enjoy these videos:

Of Dust And Nations

Helter Skelter

The One21 Essential 100 Pt.14

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1
Check out Pt.2
Check out Pt.3
Check out Pt.4
Check out Pt.5
Check out Pt.6
Check out Pt.7
Check out Pt.8
Check out Pt. 9
Check out Pt.10
Check out Pt.11
Check out Pt.12
Check out Pt.13

Thrice - The Alchemy Index 3 and 4Thrice - The Alchemy Index  1 and 2
Thrice - The Alchemy Index  1 and 2Thrice - The Alchemy Index 3 and 4
The Alchemy Index Vols. 1-4

Buy these albums: (Vol 1-2) Amazon, iTunes; (Vol 3-4) Amazon, iTunes
Before I can gush on this album, I feel like I need to explain the concept. In 2005, the post-hardcore powerhouse known as Thrice announced that they were leaving their cushy major label record deal to strike it as an independent band once again. This came as quite a shock to their fans, considering they had released two monumental albums on during that time, and many were wary of the apparent step backwards. Was this the end of Thrice? Could they survive on their own?

In 2007 the band answered with a resounding yes, and monster collection songs now known as The Alchemy Index. The concept is this: The Alchemy Index is actually four, 6-song EPs, each one designated as a elemental force, and the music of the individual EP corresponds with the element. Confused? Think of it this way, the Fire EP is Thrice at their most familiar: heavy, loud, and abrasive. The Earth EP is Thrice embracing their folk influences, and the Water EP is atmospheric electronic music.

For most bands, this ambitious of a project would bury the key song writers, and would either require help from a producer or end up with the band never really fulfilling the original intent of the EPs. Thrice not only excelled on each style of music they choose, but every aspect of The Alchemy Index is Thrice, as they self-produced AND self-recorded the WHOLE thing. They didn’t create parodies of their favorite genres of music, they digested them, and made them their own. Each EP has so many gorgeous songs, simple displays of Thrice’s ability as a band, and then when you listen to them back to back, you can’t ignore that all of the different elements work as A WHOLE as well.

This is what true creative control sounds like.

Find me another band that undertook this kind of project, completed it, self produced and self recorded it, and THEN made four gems out of the EPs…..go ahead…..find me the band…..
Highlights: The Messenger, The Whaler, Broken Lungs, Come All You Weary

Larry Norman-Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer The Anthology
Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer: The Anthology
Larry Norman

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
I struggled with putting an anthology as an essential recording, but it was such a revelation for me that I must include it. I had missed Larry Norman altogether. I had heard of Larry Norman as the father of Christian rock music and I had heard his songs on tribute albums, but I had never heard Larry Norman until Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer.

This music is as edgy and compelling as anything by Dylan, Lennon or Young. We did not hear of Larry Norman’s greatness because his answer was not to drop out, sit-in or riot. Larry Norman admonished us all to follow. His message to America in the 60’s and 70’s was to simply follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Neither the counter culture nor the establishment wanted to hear that impossibly simple admonishment, so Dylan is revered and Larry Norman is underground.
Highlights: The Great American Novel, Reader’s Digest, Without Love, You Ain’t Nothing (Righteous Rocker), Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music?

Moby - Everything Is Wrong
Everything Is Wrong

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
For those of us who were listening in 1995, this was the breakthrough. This is when electronic become more than sound and dance music. Moby likes for us to dance and he wants to be the DJ guiding us around the dance floor, but on Everything Is Wrong he used our exuberance against us. He got us going with driving house beats only to change styles and beats so quickly that he made us stop and listen. Then Moby expresses his bewildered and desperate view of modern life by periodically yanking away the escape of blind, danceable ecstasy, using that discontinuity to express the eyes-wide-open ruminations of a furious idealist.

The desperate industrial plea of “All That I Need Is To Be Loved” rips back the cover right from the beginning. “All That I need is to be loved, can’t you take that out of me, all I want is to be near you, of my God how can I love thee” is shouted over a grinding industrial sound board. You can dance to this, but you must stop and listen first. “God Moving Over The Face of The Water” is one of the most beautiful seven minutes of instrumental music of the past 50 years. The ambient masterpiece “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die” breaks your heart with deeply longing lyrics matched with crushingly sad music. The remix companion Everything Is Wrong Mixed and Re-mixed adds to the fun with multiple arrangements of these great songs.
Highlights: Feeling So Real , All That I Need Is To Be Loved, God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters

Ramsie Shiek personally there
Personally There
Ramie Shik

Buy this album: Amazon
Ramsie Shick’s voice is a force of nature, capable of touching tenderness and wild, unruly abandon. In another’s hands it could be Grace Slick, Joan Osborne, Patti Smith, or Melissa Etheridge, but this is something all on her own. She delivers the songs of Personally There with a pleading, almost manic fervor that draws you into the lyrics. Ramsie Shick has something to tell us and we want to listen.

Ramsie Shick’s dense, passionate lyrics are like the ramblings of a stream of consciousness preacher/poet – and maybe they are – but coupled with the music of her mind, the touch of her fingers on her guitar, and her muscular, competent band, they are transformed into living, breathing pieces of art and ministry. The sound is modern yet the tone is ancient or maybe timeless. It is almost as if an unpublished prophet has returned to deliver first hand insight into God’s word.
Highlights: Broken Down, Unashamed, Testify

Kaboose-Excuse Me
Excuse Me

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
The modern face of hip-hop is a sad one. We have seen a truly creative and viable artform has become a machine that celebrates mediocrity and debauchery. Emcees willing to talk about ANYTHING that means anything has become a rarity, and when it does happen, most artists lose site that their music supposed to also entertain. In 2008, creative, meaningful hip-hop proved that it was still alive and well with Kaboose’s Excuse Me.

The balance of fun and earnest is evident in every track. Kaboose is aware that even if you have something good to say, you still have to make sound good. On some tracks, he talks about his past, on some he addresses his culture (Kaboose is half Native American), but it is Kaboose‘s faith that shines like a spotlight on every track. You can tell he is a man, with flaws and faults of his own, that is desperately trying to live for God, and be a light to all around him.

Let us not forget for one minute here that Kaboose is also a PHENOMENAL emcee. He would seriously be able to rival Eminem, RedCloud, and Kayne as a word smith, and he is flawless on his delivery. This is truly one of those guys that would succeed in the mainstream rap game, if that was what he desired. Fortunately, Kaboose will never be part of that machine, but he will always let his faith dictate his art. Excuse Me is a must have for anybody who wants to know what hip-hop is all about.
Highlights: Goin’ Outta Control, Build It Up, Be First, Intercontinental Grand Dragon

The One21 Essential 100 Pt.9

essential100 copy

The One21 Essential 100 is a collection of albums that represent the best in creativity, innovation, and originality in music. This is not a “best of” list, nor is it influenced by album sales, or even popularity. Our attempt with this series is to highlight the gems, those rare albums that push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking; both musical and philosophically. In our opinion, the music highlighted in this series is the “good stuff”.

Simply what this is going to be is a list of 100 albums from Christian music artists that we think you should own. Like our website, most genres will be represented, and some of the albums will be from as far back as the 60s, to as current as 2009. Each week we will post five albums, in no real order, with descriptions, album artwork, and places to buy the music.

Check out Pt.1
Check out Pt.2
Check out Pt.3
Check out Pt.4
Check out Pt.5
Check out Pt.6
Check out Pt.7
Check out Pt.8

Dustin Kensrue-Please Come Home
Please Come Home
Dustin Kensrue

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
There was so much to be surprised by on 2006’s Please Come Home. First and foremost, it was the debut solo effort from Thrice frontman, Dustin Kensrue, a band known for their complex, mosh inducing post hardcore anthems. So the fact that he choose to make a folk/country album let you know this was something completely different in itself.

The second surprise is just how GOOD Please Come Home is. Kensrue’s normal growl translates into earnest grit in this stripped down setting, and the whole feel of the album is set off by this fact. Think of something in between Johnny Cash, The Mommas & The Pappas, and old timey gospel, and that’s about where this album lands. The songs are well constructed, catchy, and thoughtful. Everything about them seems very familiar and yet fresh at the same time. Please Come Home is track after track of your favorite song that you’ve never heard.

Perhaps the biggest surprise though, and the one that makes all of this so special, is Kensrue’s willingness to talk about his faith on Please Come Home in a very personal and real way. When he isn’t putting parables into song form (Please Come Home), or declaring his beliefs directly (I Believe), Kensrue is confronting issues of sin and struggle in such a thoughtful manner you hardly know he is preaching. What Dustin Kensrue accomplished in 2006 with Please Come Home was speaking on the human struggle through the eyes of a person touched by Christ, and made us love every moment of it.

Truly a diamond in an already stunning career, and as he continues to prove himself over and with Thrice, Dustin Kensrue continues to prove that he may be our generation’s most talented songwriter.
Highlights: I Knew You Before, Please Come Home, Blood & Wine, Pistol

sam phillips the turning
The Turning
Sam (Leslie) Phillips

Buy this album:Amazon, iTunes
Throughout the 80’s Leslie Phillips was a CCM darling, with three hit records. The Turning, however, marked a shift in the singer’s attitudes: a definite pop sensibility was now apparent in the music, and a disillusion with the narrow-mindedness of the Contemporary Christian Music machine was expressed in the lyrical content. As a result, the album fared less strongly in the religious market, but earned greater critical attention in pop music circles. The Turning was also important to Sam Phillip‘s career (and personal life) in that it paired her for the first time with producer T-Bone Burnett, who has produced all of her subsequent albums to date, and whom she married in 1989.

Following the release of The Turning, Sam Phillips made a public separation from both her former label and her previous body of work; with the help of Burnett, she signed to Virgin Records and, adopting a nickname given to her as a child, released her next record, The Indescribable Wow (1988), as Sam Phillips.

The Turning stands out as an artistic turning point in Sam Phillips‘ career as a singer and songwriter as well; on one side, the cheerful, upbeat pop-rock albums that she recorded in the early 1980s, and, on the other, the quirky 60′s music influenced rock and folk albums, with a much darker and more poetic tone lyrically. Most critics would agree that Phillips‘ songwriting abilities grew by leaps and bounds beginning with The Turning. Others might even say that this album was a pinnacle that has yet to be topped by the artist.

The Turning was listed at #8 in the book CCM Presents: The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music.
Highlights: The Turning, Answers Don’t Come Easy, God Is Watching You

Hands - Creator

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
Music can be incredibly powerful when in the hands of the right artist. The best music, in my book, is one that can take a sound or a genre, and twist it to serve a completely new purpose. So it is only fitting that Christ-centered metal’s first real prog-metal band would be named Hands, and Creator proves that not following the rules can be so much better sometimes.

Creator is two things at all times; it is progressive metal, and it is worship. There is no time during the album’s 10 tracks (more than half of which are over 6 minutes long) that it is one or the other. The mere fact that these two seemingly opposing genres can meet and work together is by itself pretty stunning, but it is the fact that they succeed that makes Creator amazing in everyway. Creative isn’t even the word, superior may be better. If you want to know what kind of metal we may listen to in Heaven, this may be it.

The reason it all works is that Hands understand the emotional and spiritual core of their songs. They know the exact moments to pull back and let the atmosphere take over, and then hit you with everything they have to give the words a sense of release. They know that sometimes singing makes sense, that sometimes spoken words are appropriate, and that screaming is the only volume appropriate for some of the lyrics. Nothing ever feels forced, nor overdone; everything just fits in balance.

Hands isn’t a band, it is a force to be reckoned with.
Highlights: Brightest, Robed In Majesty, Returning

They Sang As They Slew - Get Well
Get Well
They Sang As They Slew

Buy this album: Amazon MP3, iTunes
The brainchild of Luxury and Canary member, Jamey Bozeman, They Sang As They Slew released their debut, Get Well, to the amazement of underground Christian hipsters. Weaving between soaring experimental emo and pleading acoustic ballads, Get Well weaves a mesmerizing soundscape that pulls you into the lyrics.

“Her Left hand Rocks the Cradle” sets the tone for the entire CD, with its ethereal back sounds and samples that break into psychedelic lyrics. “I Can See With My Eyes Closed” is a straight ahead driving rocker with layers of fuzzy guitars. “It Goes On”, the psychedelic ballad with distorted vocals and layers of sound closes the CD.
Highlights: Her Left Hand Rocks The Cradle, I Can See With My Eyes Closed, 10,000 Candles

Are We There Yet?
John Reuben

Buy this album: Amazon, iTunes
I guess it is the whistling at the beginning of Are We There Yet?’s opening track (Divine Inspiration) that really tells you that this is something…a little different. From the beginning of his career, John Reuben, a quirky, unassuming white kid who has proved himself as one of Christian hip-hop’s pivotal artists, has always done things differently. Instead of embracing the more party oriented mainstream hip-hop sound, or a completely abstract underground sound, John Reuben has been able to push a fresh new sound that is something in-between the two. Are We There Yet? Was the introduction to this sound, and remains Reuben’s purest interpretation of THAT sound.

The songs on here are just SO GOOD. Tell me one emcee in the scene today that has a song like “Do Not”, and can pull it off like John Reuben. Then there are song like “No Regrets” and “Identify” that are almost rock songs, with some of the painfully honest lyrics I have heard in hip-hop in a long time. What you get with Are We There Yet? Is a mix of fun and real; of party and grit. It has been almost 10 years since the release Are We There Yet?, and it still feels completely fresh. Today, John Reuben continues to do thing his own way, and we are so glad for it.
Highlights: No Regrets, Do Not, Divine Inspiration, Identify

New Interview And Free Music With Thrice

Thrice was featured on two new features this week:

The first is their Daytrotter Session on, in which they performed toned down versions of “The World’s Gone Mad”, “Circles”, “Beggars”, and a cover of the Tom Waits song “Come On Up To The House”. All the tracks are free to download.

Listen and download Thrice’s Daytrotter Session.

The second feature is a “Q & A” with the band in Magnet Magazine Online. The band talk about the last year in Thrice, the writing process for their latest album, Beggars, and the leak of the album onto the internet two months before the release. The article also includes a free download of the song “In Exile”, taken from Beggars.

Read interview with Thrice a download free song