Musical Monday: Sara Groves

While this Musical Monday post isn’t a new discovery – I (Helen) have been listening to Sara Groves for years and even saw her in concert in Ontario – this Noisetrade finding does include a couple of “bonus tracks” that I had not heard before. Sara Groves is giving away the full commentary edition of her last album, “Invisible Empires” as she looks ahead to the release of her upcoming album, “The Collection.” The commentary edition features Sara being interviewed about each song by her husband, Troy Groves, and as mentioned, includes two bonus tracks – “Come Out and Play,” and “Childhood Summer” (I have included the music video for “Childhood Summer” below). Download “Invisible Empires” at Noisetrade, and do give her other albums a listen – I can only describe her work as stories set to beautiful songs.

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Loud Harp: Contemplative Worship

With outreach around the corner, I find myself spending more time trying to still myself before God and (to use the Christian metaphor), sit at Jesus’ feet. One of the ways I’m able to do that is through listening to music; I thought I would share with you what I’ve been listening to. For a couple of months now, one band, and one particular song by this band has been my go-to for times of reflection, and I hope, honesty before God. The band is Loud Harp and the song is “You Found Me.” Loud Harp was one of those great Noisetrade discoveries…thank you Noisetrade!

One of the things I have enjoyed most about Loud Harp’s album is that it is great for a more reflective worship space. The songs have simple lyrics and allow you to get lost in their repetition. It reminds me of a type of music I was exposed to when living as part of an intentional Christian community. The music style is called “taize.” Taize songs have lyrics that are almost chants, allowing the words to almost step out of the way so that you are able to reflect on the truth being expressed in them. Much of the songs by Loud Harp hit me the same way as taize does. The song “You Found Me” has a level of honesty in its lyrics that I find very appropriate for coming into times of prayer:

I have been wondering for years,

Looking for but not finding a safe place to lay my head.

I have been stumbling in darkness

Searching for a real love.

You found me and you pulled me out.

You found me and you pulled me out.

You found me and you brought me home.

You have eyes to see, what I’ve hidden in my shame

Neck deep in the mire.

Won’t you pull me out and wrap me in your arms.

You’re a good Father this is a good home

Right in the palm of your hands, You’re not letting go.

Even though much of the actions described in this song are in the past tense, I find if I am honest, I still have times where I find myself wondering in darkness, neck deep in the mire. I know in my head that I have been pulled out of all of this by the work of Jesus on the cross, but in my heart I still see my need to be held in the palm of God’s hand every day. I hope this song and the entire album can be an encouragement to you where ever you are, and draw you closer to our good Father.

I have included a link to where you can download the album from Noisetrade. If you like what you hear and want to further support Loud Harp, I have also included a link to their Kickstarter campaign to raise money for their next project. Below both these links you’ll find a video of another of Loud Harp’s songs, Your Love Never Runs Out. Enjoy.

Download album from Noisetrade: http://www.noisetrade.com/loudharp/loud-harp

Kickstarter campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/732848104/loud-harp-new-record-2013/widget/video.html