With all the new worship music that is written and recorded each year, it’s sometimes easy to forget the wide variety of wonderful older hymns that are readily available for more contemporary environments. What’s more, an increasing number of artists and bands of all genres are looking to the past for inspiration for their new releases.
This collection includes contemporary and modern hymns performed in all styles, from folk, to rock, country, and much more: we hope that the music might inspire you to explore the use of some contemporary versions of hymns in your worship services, or to listen afresh to many of these beautiful and eloquent songs.
You can also hear all of the hymns featured here by following our playlist on Spotify:
Listen now (Spotify)
1. Newsboys - All Creatures Of Our God & King (from Hallelujah For The Cross)
' latest album is a fantastic selection of hymns and older songs injected with their typical high level of energy! All Creatures Of Our God & King opens the collection, setting a high bar that is maintained throughout.
2. Chelsea Moon & Uncle Daddy - 'Tis So Sweet (from Hymn Project, Vol. 1)
's folk-infused modern hymn albums are fast becoming a staple in my own music listening, and I'm sure they'll become firm favourites of yours too! Another highly recommended hymn rendition is Come Thou Fount, from the same album.
3. Jadon Lavik - Come Thou Fount (from Roots Run Deep)
Come Thou Fount is one of those hymns that really lends itself to a variety of modern genres, and while Jadon Lavik's version doesn't try anything too surprising, his smooth vocal performance and relaxed instrumental backing meshes perfectly together. And the rest of his Roots Run Deep album is just as good.
4. Salt of the Sound - Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (from Dwell Among Us)
We recorded this live version of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus as the B-side for our recent single, Dwell Among Us
. A beautifully reflective hymn that can be sung or played in many different styles.
5. Brandon Heath - It Is Well (from Jesus, Firm Foundation: Hymns Of Worship)
From a compilation of hymns comprising a variety of eminent CCM artists, Brandon Heath
's take on It Is Well is one of the standout tracks. With the addition of a contemporary worship-style refrain, this is certainly a modern hymn that would work effectively for many church bands and congregations alike.
6. Guy Penrod - What A Friend We Have In Jesus (from Hymns)
This song is also included in our favourite Good Friday songs
, and the entirety of Penrod's Hymns album is an incredible country-infused journey of hymns throughout the ages. Recommended even if you're not a country music fan, yet!
7. Shane & Shane - Jesus Paid It All (from The Worship Initiative, Vol. 5)
-themed song and one that lends itself so well to Shane & Shane
's stripped back acoustic arrangements and beautiful vocal harmonies. This version of the song also includes a more recently written bridge section, perfect for modern worship settings.
8. Page CXVI - How Deep The Father's Love For Us (Hymns - B Sides)
According to their website, Page CXVI
'is a project started with the idea of making Hymns accessible and known again.' Take some time to listen to the vast array of hymns that the band have recorded in a contemporary manner and I'm sure you'll agree.
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9. Sojourn - Before The Throne Of God Above (from Before The Throne)
Sojourn's relatively understated version of Before The Throne Of God Above is an excellent example of how to modernise a hymn without necessarily adding extra refrains or excessively adapting the source material. The song demonstrates a real awareness of the power of adding and removing instruments to build emotion throughout the arrangement.
10. Ascend The Hill - Be Thou My Vision (from Take The World, But Give Me Jesus)
Another band who have really explored hymns across their various releases, Ascend The Hill
's version of Be Thou My Vision is a unique and inspiring contemporary version of one of the truly great hymns.
11. David Crowder Band - Doxology (from Songs That Changed The Church - Hymns)
Concluding this contemporary hymns collection is a live version of Doxology by the David Crowder Band from the Songs That Changed The Church compilation series.