Dec 18, 2015

Evangelical-indie Christmas music

More than a half dozen evangelical Christian music groups have released Christmas music on the site NoiseTrade, where they can be downloaded for a donation.

John Mark McMillian has done a version of "Joy to the World." McMillan, best known for the song "How He Loves." His 2015 EP, co-written with his wife, debuted as the number one iTunes download in the Christian & Gospel category.

He's making this Christmas song available for a suggested donation of $2:

Port Harbor, a Harrisonburg, Va., group, also has a Christmas single out on NoiseTrade. They've followed up their first full-length album in 2014 with a modern take on "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing."

Josh Wright -- a former Baptist worship leader and American Idol contestant trying to make it in music -- has a released one new Christmas song every year for the last three years. The trio of compositions are available together as a seasonal EP titled "Christmas Dream."

Another EP is by LCBC Worship, the worship band of a multisite Pennsylvania megachurch. LCBC, which stands for Lives Changed By Christ, has weekly attendance of more than 14,000 at its seven locations. Its band has put out "Christmas at LCBC," with four Christmas songs. Each of these compositions is both familiar and new.

The Many, a group based in a Chicago church, has released a whole album, called Christmas & Advent 2015. The album offers a mix of traditional hymns and new material. According to the group, the new songs "came out of reflection on The Magnificat, Mary's song from Luke 1, and the story of Jesus' birth, and how those words from so long ago resonate with our current headlines."

Shoreline, a Knoxville, Tenn. church has chosen to stick with the classics. "Christmas with Shoreline" features the Baptist church's worship team performing four hymns:  "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus," "O Come O Come Emanuel," "Emanuel Has Come," and "Joy to the World." The church hopes making its music available will focus people on "the redemption that only comes through Jesus."

The old Christmas songs sound new on "A Christmas Sing-A-Long." This is the Christmas album from the Gospel Song Union, a group made up of members of five evangelical bands, including Kings Kaleidoscope and Citizens & Saints, two bands that started in Mark Driscoll's Mars Hill Church. The Christmas sampler reportedly is the start of a sustained project.