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Get the new FREE JFH MP3 compilation -- Vol. 12! The State Of Independents

Indie Spotlight Reviews

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Exile & Eden

Love and Loss

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Daniel David

Unrest EP

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Wind and Sail



Indie State Inspection Reviews

  • Relentless Pursuit, Upward We March (2023) / Official Site
    Multi-instrumentalist Matthew Konradt is quite possibly one of the most prolific artists out there right now. Less than a year since his last album, Through Confusion, he's already back with his next Relentless Pursuit album, Upward We March. The Relentless Pursuit project has been a steady example of starting from the ground up... Read the Full Review
  • Nathan Jarrelle, Beyond Your Reach (2020) /
    Nathan Jarrelle may be a new name to a lot of hip-hop fans, but he has been hard at work. Jarrelle himself has released eleven studio albums and has a label (Nathan Jarrelle Ministries) with several other artists involved. Jarrelle aims to have lyrics rooted in good Christian theology, but also addresses tough issues like anxiety, depression, and abuse. This is pretty evident in "John 1:4-5," as... Read the Full Review
  • The Bootleggers Music Group, J.E.S.U.S. - Single (2023) /
    The Bootleggers Music Group is a unique collective of musicians (at times from around the world) that exists "for the Love of God one tune at a time." They release a wide variety of music from rock to rap to country. One particular example is their 2022 single "J.E.S.U.S.", which features group... Read the Full Review
  • Caleb Russel Kennedy, You're Not Alone - EP (2023) / Instagram
    Caleb Russel Kennedy is a singer/songwriter from Honolulu, Hawaii who makes alternative rock music mixed with a dash of classic rock. His latest release is a three-song EP called You're Not Alone, a collection of songs which features co-writing from industry vet Gabriel Wilson (Rock N Roll Worship Circus / The Listening). "Human Condition" opens with a driving guitar riff before diving into a late '90s/early '00s alt rock sound that almost reminds me of The Elms (even vocally). The guitar work is really solid; Kennedy proves to be quite handy with the instrument, making it the main highlight of the... Read the Full Review
  • CorbansDad, Gonna Leave - Single (2023) /
    Music can serve many purposes. While some bands and artists are out to make a living, others exist to write truly great pieces of music simply for the love of it. And still others do it as a means of coping with tragedy. CorbansDad is the name of one such artist - a stand-up comedian by trade, but a country singer at heart. After 21-year-old Corban lost his life in an accident, CorbansDad wrote a tribute to his late son called "Gonna Leave." The song is partially a coming-of-age story of Corban's life, with the singer looking back on his son's adventures as he grows more and more independent... Read the Full Review
  • Brandon Hixson, Take Me to the River (2023) /
    While the 2020 pandemic brought a lot of things to a halt, Brandon Hixson's music release schedule only sped up, with at least one full-length each year since then. His latest offering (and third official release in 2023 alone) is a CCM/pop album called Take Me to the River. As no surprise to anyone who's listened to any of his past material, the album shows that Hixson is quite clearly a... Read the Full Review
  • Kell Bailey, Evidence (2023) /
    A musician and music lover since he was a kid, Kell Bailey has had nearly a lifetime to hone his craft. After playing with various organizations and gospel choirs, he began recording his music, dropping his first EP in 2019, followed by his first full-length in 2020. Three years later, his sophomore album, Evidence, has arrived. While Bailey is responsible for much of the singing and some... Read the Full Review
  • Life Church Music, Paradigms (2023) /
    Serving their local community in Milwaukee, WI, Life Church and its worship team, Life Church Music (LCMSC for short), have committed to using their musical gifts for the sake of ministering and bringing honor to the Lord. Coming off of their 2022 studio album, In Peace or Pieces I'm Complete, the collective quickly got back to releasing new music with their second live album, Paradigms. Much of the tracklist consists of live versions of songs... Read the Full Review
  • Holly Dayle, Joy Changes Things - Single (2023) /
    Singer/songwriter Holly Dayle began steadily releasing singles in 2019, honing her craft and, in the process, using her musical talents to bless her peers and bring glory to Jesus. Her latest single, and first since 2020, is called "Joy Changes Things." The song mixes organic instrumentation (acoustic and electric guitar) with light synth and some electronic drums that sound like they have a classic... Read the Full Review
  • Norman Lee Schaffer, That's My King (2022) /
    Norman Lee Schaffer is a lifelong musician with an impressive musical history, including recently releasing his tenth full-length studio album. That's My King is a CCM album that blends contemporary and southern rock with pop country and a little bit of bluegrass. In fact, the title track wastes no time kicking it off with electric guitar, banjo, and fiddle for an upbeat track about the good... Read the Full Review
  • One Breath, Days of the One True King (2023) /
    One Breath is a rock band from Texas with worship leanings. The group has been around for about seven years now and have opened for bands like 7eventh Time Down and Unspoken. Though there were only three in One Breath initially, the group added three new members (drummer, lead guitarist, and a supporting vocalist) in 2021 and 2022. As a complete band, One Breath sets out to make music that gives reverence to God and glorifies Him. Their debut album, Days of the One True King is a rock outing that also brings in elements of alternative, Americana, and worship. The 9-track album features seven... Read the Full Review
  • Bassline Worship, Critical Days in Human History - Single (2023) /
    Bassline Worship is the ministry of seasoned DJ David Benic, who wants to create indie Christian dance music. With his debut EP on the horizon, Benic has released the first single and title track, "Critical Days in Human History." It takes its title from an audio clip that says, "In my judgment, we are living in the most critical days in human history." And what is the best solution and hope for... Read the Full Review
  • Revelators Music, VALUE - Single (2023) / Instagram
    What stands out regarding the bio for Revelators Music is that the starting point is Alabama, the current place is Amsterdam, and the sound is inspired by East African and South American rhythms. With such a variety of influences, one would expect a Revelators Music song to be a unique... Read the Full Review
  • N D Martin, From Fear To Faith (2023) / Facebook
    In early 2021, former The Violent Whispers member N D Martin began releasing a series of singles chronicling his journey into the Christian faith. Nearly two years and ten singles later, Martin has compiled them all into his debut solo album, From Fear To Faith. Martin's musical style is very classic rock in nature, combining acoustic guitar, piano, keys, and electric instruments in various... Read the Full Review
  • Relentless Pursuit, Wildfire - Single (2023) / Official Site
    There may not be an artist name more fitting than Relentless Pursuit. Though the name is primarily about pursuing the Lord, it also works for sole member Matthew Konradt's musicianship and attempts at getting better and better at his craft. "Flamboyant Intoxication," the first single from his upcoming album, was one of many continual steps in the right direction. The full album, Through Confusion, is... Read the Full Review
  • Hopeful., Shipwrecked - Single (2023) / Official Site
    Growing up with a love and appreciation for the Christian rock scene, the members of Southern California rock band Hopeful. are now trying their hands at participating in it. With only a couple of singles to their name since forming in 2021, they're now set to release an EP, while also dropping... Read the Full Review
  • dustybonez, Ride or Die - Single (2023) / Official Facebook
    After releasing an EP's worth of singles in 2021, singer/songwriter Dusty Ballard - AKA dustybonez - played it slow last year, releasing only one song called "Breathe." Now he's jumpstarting the new year with his latest number, "Ride or Die," a Bruce Springsteen-esque, Americana rock & roll track. It's ripe with a bluesy, quasi-pop punk guitar riff in the verses alongside some expertly-played bass... Read the Full Review
  • Spenser Olson, All Those Lies (feat. Allen Corrigan) - Single (2023) / Official Site
    Beginning his singing ministry in 2013, pop artist Spenser Olson has spent this last decade writing music to glorify the name of Jesus, with numerous singles and a full-length worship album to his name. Now he's jumpstarted 2023 with a brand new single called "All Those Lies." The lowkey R&B beat and Spanish guitar licks are extremely reminiscent of turn-of-the-century boy bands (which is a nice, nostalgic... Read the Full Review
  • Raid the Quarry, Beyond These Castle Walls (2022) / Official Site
    North Carolina natives Raid the Quarry got their start in 2014, but became the complete unit they are now just two years later, locking in their core line-up and getting to work on their debut EP, Priority One. The band doesn't seem interested in rushing their work, as they've just put out their third release in 2022, a full-length record entitled Beyond These Castle Walls. Raid the Quarry... Read the Full Review
  • Phil Craig, Jesus Has Conquered (Confidence) - Single (2022) / Official Site
    Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, worship leader Phil Craig released a debut EP last year and is making a quick turnaround with his single "Jesus Has Conquered (Confidence)". The track bears all the hallmarks of classic Chris Tomlin or Matt Redman tunes: piano driven melodies, a light touch of electric guitar, and a mid-tempo beat playing over lyrics that balance worship with encouragement. The message of the... Read the Full Review
  • CALLED, CALLED (2022) / Official Site
    CALLED is not only an indie pop/rock band based in Stuart, Florida, but also an active ministry offering music-guided retreats, praise and worship events, and regular musical concerts. Each of these options blend music, theology, and prayer together to varying degrees. On top of that, the group has recently released their debut album, entitled CALLED. The band has stated their goal is to speak... Read the Full Review
  • Jelani Malik, Inside (2022) / Official Site
    When your family tree includes members of Public Enemy, it's likely that hip hop runs through your veins. Jelani Malik and his new album Inside seem to be solid evidence of this. That being said, instead of the classic gangsta rap sounds of Public Enemy, Inside is a lot more modern, with a larger focus on smooth R&B vocals and beats than raps and boom bap. Malik proves to be a competent... Read the Full Review
  • Relentless Pursuit, Through Confusion (2022) / Official Site
    There may not be an artist name more fitting than Relentless Pursuit. Though the name is primarily about pursuing the Lord, it also works for sole member Matthew Konradt's musicianship and attempts at getting better and better at his craft. "Flamboyant Intoxication," the first single from his upcoming album, was one of many continual steps in the right direction. The full album, Through Confusion, is... Read the Full Review
  • Stephen Yeske, Keys of Heaven - EP (2022) / Facebook
    Having been a musician for nearly 30 years now, singer/songwriter Stephen Yeske finally decided to take the leap into recording. He's released a string of singles throughout 2022, which have now culminated in his debut EP, Keys of Heaven. As Yeske's main goal for his music is to worship the Lord and edify the Church, Keys of Heaven foregoes flashy instrumentation and poetic songwriting and instead focuses on solid musicianship and straightforward lyricism. Much of the album is low-key and unassuming, as if he's demonstrating his desire to lift up Jesus and not himself. The EP is full of soft... Read the Full Review
  • The King's People, Resting Place (2022) / Official Site
    The King's People are a collective of singers, songwriters, and musicians from a family of house churches in North Carolina. Instead of the big budget production and rock concert atmosphere of a Hillsong or Elevation album, The King's People and their debut album, Resting Place, focus on a much more intimate and down-to-earth approach. The songs are still very congregational and comparable in style, but are largely stripped down to the essentials... Read the Full Review
  • Robert M Vasile, The Unfinished Road (2022) / Spotify
    Robert M Vasile is a 70-year-old songwriter born in Brooklyn New York, who has previous experience in a band in the 90s. He plays a variety of instruments and has been on worship teams in a handful of states across the U.S. As far as I can tell, this is his solo debut album, titled The Unfinished Road and it features strong Americana, Bluegrass, and Gospel instrumentation like banjo, mandolin, and fiddle... Read the Full Review
  • Relentless Pursuit, Flamboyant Intoxication - Single (2022) / Official Site
    Over the last few years, Matthew Konradt has been learning and growing as a musician with his metalcore act, Ascend the Soul. Recently, he also branched out and started a solo act, which he is calling Relentless Pursuit. His first single, "Flamboyant Intoxication," is pretty straightforward melodic metalcore, but also has some fairly deathcore-inspired harsh growls and screams. If you're familiar at all with Ascend the Soul... Read the Full Review
  • Hope Beyond Suffering, Forevermore EP (2022) / Official Site
    Husband-wife musical duos usually appear in the folk genre. Hope Beyond Suffering (Drew and Vannah Brammell), however, turns that stereotype on its head and instead plays symphonic metal. Recently, they released their latest effort, Forevermore (EP), featuring one instrumental track (the opener "Rest") and three lyrical tracks that take the listener on a journey. The first two (the title track and "Awake") have a more spiritual focus, singing about the endless love of God and the struggle to awake and accept that love... Read the Full Review
  • Steve Hodges, So I Can Love Her - Single (2022) / Official Site
    Steve Hodges is an American singer/songwriter and guitarist. His single, "So I Can Love Her," is inspired by his late wife during a time when Steven himself almost passed away after a failed medical procedure. While in a hospital bed and uncertain of what was to come with his own life, his wife Sheri was right there beside him every step of the way... Read the Full Review
  • Nathan Wheeler, Nathan Wheeler EP (2021) / Bandcamp
    It's never too late to start a music career. Describing his music as a "midlife crisis with a bit of optimism," Nathan Wheeler kicked things off last spring with a self-titled, three-song EP (or six, if you count the bonus tracks on Bandcamp - this review, however, will cover the three standard tracks). Wheeler's style is pretty tame, but nonetheless seems to take a lot of influence from artists like Bruce Springsteen and The Killers, most noticeably the Americana rock & roll guitar tones, but occasionally in the vocal style as well. But instead of upbeat tracks like "Born in the USA" or the driving rhythms of... Read the Full Review
  • Peter118, UK Christian Punk Rock EP (2022) / Bandcamp
    Peter118 is a punk band from England making music since around 2014. The group intends to share the news of Christ through the punk sub-culture and in places the church cannot reach. They really hit the ground running in 2017 with their split EP with No Lost Cause, In Stereo. In 2021, the band released the... Read the Full Review
  • Sevenoneself, The Treasure of the Crucible (2022) / Facebook
    Sevenoneself is the project of Canadian musician Barry Peters. Peters is a classically trained pianist who loves rock and metal music and decided to make some music in Saskatchewan where this is no music scene. Being involved in worship music, and as a former pastor, he wrote a rock album around his faith. Not only did he play every instrument, but he also edited, mixed, and produced the album completely solo. The Treasure of the Crucible took him about 7 years to complete, but Sevenoneself's debut album is finally available... Read the Full Review
  • Mountain Climer, I'm Not Enough & That's Okay (2022) / Official Site
    Mountain Climer (not a typo) is a brand new alt rock project from the mind of Broomfield, Colorado's Jeremy Climer. Mountain Climer's first official full-length album, following a slew of singles in 2021, is called I'm Not Enough & That's Okay, which finds the artist pulling out influences from the late '90s and early '00s to hit the listener with a mix of punk rock and alternative. While the lighter... Read the Full Review
  • Every Knee, Beautiful Things - Single (2022) / Facebook Page
    Every Knee is a worship collective hailing from Rochester, NY, bringing together a variety of artists from various backgrounds and influences. For their recently released single, they chose a cover of Gungor's "Beautiful Things," with Ian Smith (of Street Side) taking lead vocal duties. Every Knee's take is certainly different from the original. Not only is the music more atmospheric and synthesized, Smith... Read the Full Review
  • NOT ASHAMED, In Spirit and Truth - Single (2022) / Official Site
    Not Ashamed is an independent rock band from Tennessee that aims to provide powerful and positive music for listeners. The band is very ministry minded, participates in charity events, and even has a link to a YouTube video of rapper Propaganda presenting the gospel message for those who may be seeking Christ. On top of that, they even offer a contact for further questions and information for churches in their area... Read the Full Review
  • Helium114, Paint EP (2022) / Official Site
    Helium114 is a pop/punk project by Luke Greene. Their new release, Paint EP, brings to mind bands like Philmore (aside from the occasional scream). The EP doesn't have the cleanest production out there, but that is honestly part of the charm of DYI punk rock. The raw and authentic nature helps to tame some of the sweetness of the pop side and gives you a balanced feel and sound overall... Read the Full Review
  • the Found and the Lost, the Found and the Lost (2022) / Spotify
    The Found and the Lost is a one-man electronic project born in the wake of an Austin, Texas-based church worship album. After producing, mixing, and mastering his church worship team's album, guitarist and drummer Vicente Chung continued making music and wound up with a handful of tracks for his own solo project. The Found and the Lost is quite an interesting album. Other than the oddball... Read the Full Review


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This Thursday, September 28, 2023
KJ-52 Still Standing (independent)

This Friday, September 29, 2023
Blanca The Heartbreak And The Healing (Deluxe Edition) [Curb/Word]
Equippers Worship Desert River EP - Single [DREAM]
The Inspirations Reunion LIVE [Horizon]
RED Rated R [RED/The Fuel]
Still Worship Cello Vol. 1 [Integrity]
Vineyard Worship This Joy [Integrity]

Citizens everything and more (acoustic) - Single [Integrity]
Amy Jay Joke - Single [A for Effort]
The Katinas Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus - Single (independent)
Chase Tremaine Time - Single (independent)

Next Friday, October 6, 2023
Kirk Franklin Father's Day [RCA/Fo Yo Soul]
Amy Grant Lead Me On Live 1989 [AG/Sparrow]
Natalie Grant Seasons [Curb/Word]
Lucy Grimble Ready For The Dawn [Integrity]
Hillsong UNITED Zion (X) [Capitol CMG]
ONE House Music Eyes Up - EP [Re:Think/Capitol CMG]

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