JJ Heller

This is the third week of May – therefore marks three weeks since I’ve disposed of my secular music to listen to more Jesus music and keep my eyes on Him, not on the world. Thus far, it’s been beautiful. I exhort you to do the same! God calls us to fix our minds and hearts on Him. Making proper music choices is a fantastic way to do that!

 

I decided that it was time to blog about a female artist , but couldn’t figure out who… So I sat and thought, and thought, and thought some more until BAM. It hit me.

 

The lady of the week is JJ Heller. Her music is insanely lovely, and her voice is sweet. I personally adore coffee shop music, and if a Christian coffee house playlist was a thing, JJ’s music would be at the top of the list.

I follow her on twitter and IG, and she’s one of  my favourite follows!

 

She just released a new album named “I Dream of You. ” Right now she’s giving away two songs from it for free on noisetrade. (or to make life easier for everyone, you can find it right here.)

 

Her music reflects her love for Jesus, and is overall worth a listen.

 

“Social Club is the Best”

Okay, so this weekend I’ve been doing a media fast, but I’m here now writing to keep up my end of the “blog about an awesome, out of the box (Christian) artist each weekend thing”. So, here it is.

Last week I covered Josh Garrels, who is much more of a folky (kind of hipster) artist. This week, I’m going to write about Social Club – who is very much a rap group… But not your typical rap group.
I found them about a year ago sometime after the release of their album “Misfits.” These guys are based out of Miami, Florida and have both been doing music for awhile, but now “MartyMar” and Fern are together, rapping and making music. And it’s fantastic.

Their music is quirky, and very different than your average “Christian rap” sterotype. These guys are hilarious – and show it in their music. They also both love Jesus an awful lot, and have had their lives completely changed by God, which is always an encouraging testimony.

A few weeks back they released their 10 track album – Misfits 2. All the songs on that album are pure gold, but the ones that are really sticking with people (based off of what I see on twitter) are Awkward 2, Coogi Sweater & Burn the Bridge. And hey, Cops is pretty good too.
(also, a slight side bar, but example of who Social Club is: after my post on my “secular media” fast, I somehow was picked to be given a copy of Misfits 2 which was such a timely blessing. Plus, gifted music is always precious.)

So, follow them on twitter & instagram, and check them out on youtube.

As their tagline goes, “Social Club is the best.” 🙂

 

Pilot Me

It’s May 2nd, so in keeping with my last post, I am indeed taking part in my secular media fast. So far, so good. I’m excited to see what God does in this next month!

Each weekend in May, I’m going to blog about and “feature” a unique Christian artist on my blog.

I feel as if people have problems listening to Christian music because it’s “cheesy” or considered lower quality…. Well I’m here to tell you that it is NOT cheesy or lower quality. In fact, I strongly believe that it in a lot of ways has more artistry than secular music. {Plus it’s anointed, which means it’s automatically better.}

 

The artist for this weekend, is Josh Garrels. Ironically enough, I heard about his music from my madly hip Mama (she’s always giving me new artists to listen to. Hehe.) at first I didn’t like his music one bit, and thought it was too “interesting.” Well, that didn’t mean my Mama didn’t stop playing it that afternoon. An hour later, I was putting his complete discography on my phone.

Josh Garrels is from Indiana originally (yay for some midwestern pride!), but currently lives in Hipster Haven aka Portland, Oregon. He does all his own stuff, and his music is a mashup between many styles… Predominately folk, with a bit of rap and some jazzy stuff thrown into the mix.

He is a strong believer, which is evident by his lyrics. In his songs he talks about following Christ, God’s creation, everyday life, and also sings scripture in many of his songs.

It’s a beautiful thing.

 

 

This video is one of my favourite things on the internet… So beautiful and refreshing. If you like what you’re hearing, you can also check out my Josh Garrels grooveshark playlist and enjoy some more of his music.

 

{ps….  incase you were wondering, my blog is ironically named “shelter from the storms” from one of Josh Garrels’ songs – White Owl. It’s also worth a listen. 🙂 }

May Media Fast 2k14

I don’t know about you, but one of – if not my biggest downfall in my spiritual walk is music. The majority of the battle is in our minds… And it really does matter what music we fill our minds with.

 

There is really nothing more in this world I love more than music… And I love all kinds of music. Classical, jazz, rap, folk, R&B, rock…. You name it, and I most likely love it. I listen to music pretty much from the time I wake up, to the time I go to sleep at night. Almost to a fault.

Over this last while I have been trying quite hard to intentionally walk closer with the Lord. Every day is a new day, and His mercies are new every morning, but each day marks a new day with new mercies, but on the flipside, it also means there is a new canvas to be filled struggle and sin.

 

But it’s the most interesting thing, because the more I fill my head with a nonstop “IV drip” of music that isn’t edifying (okay, secular) I can feel my heart wander. My tongue becomes harsher and sharper, my thoughts become darker and less joy-filled, the “loneliness” begins to creep in, and my desire to study and be immersed in God’s Word diminishes.

Yes, my favourite John Mayer song can always bring that momentary feeling of happiness and familiar comfort, but one song becomes another, and another, until the bold intensity of Andy Mineo, or the brightness of Phil Wickham’s music is nothing more than a distant memory.

 

Yet on the contrary, whenever I immerse myself in music such as worship and other music that is blatantly God glorifying, my entire worldview and thinking shifts.

 

So. With all this said, I would like to propose a challenge for the month of May to you, my twitter followers and readers.

For the month of May, I personally am choosing to listen to only “sacred” music. I also am going to limit my netflix and movie intake… I too often spend time watching TV when I could be spending precious time with Jesus.

In May, I am going to intentionally set my mind on Christ, and strive to become more like Him… And I’d like to invite you on this journey.

Starting May 1st, I will go on a 31 Day (Secular) Media fast with the goal to grow closer to God and through that keep a more intentionally keep a more disciplined mind and heart.

Who’s with me?

What I’m listening to these days.

If you know me at all, you’d know that I’m kinda addicted to music. I listen to and love almost every genre (aside from ska… which I whole-heartedly loathe.) Recently I bought some new music, and I’d love to share some of it with you all!

Scott Cunningham Band – There May Be Tears

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m totally biased. I love Calvary Chapel, and am planning on heading out to CCBC in a year… I love pretty much everything that comes out of Calvary Chapel. This band leads worship at their Wednesday night services, and I love their style. So worshipful, musically sound, and scriptural.

Jimmy Needham – Forgiven and Loved

I just recently found his music. He randomly came up on my Pandora one day, and man, am I glad it did.

Schuyler Fisk – Waking Life

I first heard this in the movie Penelope. It’s such a sweet and pretty little song!

Andy Mineo (and Christon Gray) – Ex Nihilo

From Andy’s new album, Heroes for Sale… Can’t stop listening to this one.