Worship songs: the best of 2017 (so far!) | Salt Of The Sound

Worship songs: the best of 2017

Finding the best in worship music is not always easy. In this article, we aim to seek out the best new worship songs for 2017. As we did last year, and in previous years, we will be updating this article throughout 2017 with new worship songs as they are released – so do check back later for updates. The aim of this blog post is not only to bring you some of the greatest mainstream Christian praise and worship music, but also to include a variety of less well known artists too – after all, worship music comes in so many different styles, genres and sounds. And if you hear any great worship songs which you think we should include, do let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the article! As always, we love hearing from you.

You can also listen to all the awesome worship songs included in this selection (as well as the best of previous years) in our uplifting Spotify playlist. We’ll be keeping this updated throughout 2017 so make sure you follow the playlist to ensure that you stay up to date too!

Best worship songs (Spotify playlist)

1. Myron Butler and Levi - Let Praises Rise
Genre: Gospel
This Gospel song by Myron Butler and Levi has to be one of gospel music’s strongest offerings of recent times for the general worship scene. The song is particularly adaptable for a whole range of worship teams and settings - which is great if you don’t have a top notch gospel singers available to you each week. We have found this song to be adaptable for your average congregation and worship team - and it goes without saying that the key is not to try and imitate the recording but to put your own stamp on it - we take an acoustic, pared-back approach.
Buy now

2. Hillsong Worship - What A Beautiful Name
Genre: Worship
When it comes to worship music, we really like the approach that Hillsong worship have taken with this latest release of theirs - What A Beautiful Name. This EP contains 5 versions of the same song - the song itself is strong both lyrically and musically making it much easier for many worship teams to envision how they might use the song in their own worship setting - with the inspiration of an acoustic version, gospel and even orchestral arrangement of the song. Hillsong continue to surprise us with their releases and we are impressed with what we hear for 2017.
Buy now

3. The Brilliance - All Is Not Lost
Genre: Alternative
Released in early 2017, this new worship album from The Brilliance caught our attention straight away and a couple of their tracks made an appearance on our Music for Good Friday playlist. The title track ‘All Is Not Lost’ is a great reminder for us that is particularly welcome in 2017. For a worship setting, we also recommend ‘Holy, Holy’ and ‘Lift Your Voice’ - we love the sound and style that The Brilliance are offering to the worship music scene with this album.
Buy now

4. Ginny Owens - God Is Love
Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Since her 2014 album ‘I Know A Secret’, we have eagerly awaited a new release from Ginny Owens and her new album ‘Love Be The Loudest’ which released at the end of last year definitely contains some of 2017’s best worship song offerings. The song ‘God is Love’ (a collaboration with ‘All Sons and Daughters’) lends itself wo well to worship - and we have used it with our church choir to great effect. While not all the songs on the album lend themselves to church worship music, the album will definitely lift your spirits.
Buy now

5. Anthem Lights - Hymns
Genre: CCM / Worship
What we love about Anthem Lights’ new album is their ability to remind us that there are all kinds of ways to keep hymns fresh in worship settings - we particularly like their medleys - which fuse classic hymns together in an interesting fashion - especially the track: Amazing Grace / Be Thou My Fount / Come Thou Fount / I Need Thee Every Hour. A simple version of their arrangements could be easily adapted or simply serve as inspiration for other classic hymn medleys - including great Easter and Christmas worship medley ideas.
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The top 10 worship songs of 2016

These songs were our favourites from last year!

1. Audrey Assad - Inheritance
Genre: Alternative / Worship
Released in February, this long awaited album from Audrey Assad - described as a 'soundtrack for prayer' - contains re-worked versions of many well-loved classic hymns. Arguably the best cover on the album is ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’, but the stand out tracks are her original worship songs, ‘Even Unto Death’ and ‘New Every Morning’.
Buy now

2. Mike Clark Band - Overcome & Every Ounce
Genre: Alternative / Worship
Back in 2013, we featured Mike Clark Band and we are pleased to know that they are back this year with their brand new Overcome EP. The new release delivers 3 well-crafted, thoughtful songs which just lend themselves to church worship - especially the song ‘Every Ounce’ which, alongside ‘Overcome’ are the two stand-out tracks of not only the EP, but of worship music released in 2016.
Buy now

3. Christy Nockels - Let It Be Jesus
Genre: Worship
Christy Nockels' latest offering to the worship music scene is very welcome. Nockels has a worship style that doesn’t just fit the mould you might expect of worship music - and we love that about her. Original style and heart definitely come through in her music. Make sure you check out ‘Let It Be Jesus’, ‘The Wondrous Cross’ and ‘Find Me At The Feet Of Jesus’.
Buy now

4. Rend Collective - As Family We Go
Genre: Folk / Worship
As it was only released in December 2015, we feel that Rend Collective should definitely receive some credit in the Best Worship Songs of 2016 too. My favourite song on the album is ‘Your Royal Blood’ (also featured in our Easter playlist)and while some of their other tracks may be similar to each other in style, what we really like about Rend Collective is their ability to push boundaries in style, genre, and musical arrangement.
Buy now

5. Salt Of The Sound - Made A Way
Genre: Reflective / Worship
Our latest single is inspired by the Easter message of hope, and features a reflective worship style that is perfect for prayer and meditation, and described as an 'epic ambient sound that will utterly fill whatever area you are in'.
Buy now

6. Erik Nieder - The Narrow Sea
Genre: Folk / Ambient
A truly beautiful EP by Erik Nieder, who describes it as 'collection of songs that speak to the journey we are all on in this life as followers of Jesus.' Meshing reflective arrangements with folk instrumentation to create a unique sound, The Narrow Sea EP is not to be missed!
Buy now

7. Elevation Worship - Here as in Heaven
Genre: Worship
If you are looking for songs that allow for heartfelt worship, then look no further. That’s not to say all of these songs in Elevation Worship's album are down-tempo though - in fact, it contains a good balance of songs designed for all aspects of church-based and personal worship.
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8. Newsboys - Love Riot
Genre: CCM
We love that Newsboys seem to be very reliable when it comes to releasing regular, good quality worship music and their 2016 release ‘Love Riot’ is no exception. Some of the most memorable tracks on the album are ‘You Hold It All’, ‘Family’ and ‘Guilty’ alongside a great rendition (including a gospel choir) of Bethel Music’s ‘No Longer Slaves’.
Buy now

9. Young Oceans - Voices, Vol. 1
Genre: Alternative
More intentionally than some of their earlier work, this latest offering from Young Oceans is intended for church worship - in their own words, it “re-visits some of the more congregational minded songs of the Young Oceans catalog” and features many well-known voices such as Ellie Holcomb, All Sons & Daughters, Harvest & others. For me, the stand out track is ‘My All In Thee’ featuring Ellie Holcomb, with ‘Until These Tears Are Gone’ also being a great opening to this album.
Buy now

10. The Church Vessel - Rekindle
Genre: Worship
“Vessel is a worship project that emerged from the passion and desperation of a local worship team” and their first worship project has delivered in providing new and original music from the church, for the church. While repetition isn’t always a positive in worship music, we feel that The Church Vessel's use of both melodic and lyrical repetition in this music only adds to creating a more worshipful atmosphere. Some particularly notable tracks on this album for 2016 include ‘Beckon’, ‘Your love (Outtro)’, and ‘Spoken’.
Buy now


The top 10 worship songs of 2015

1. I Am They - King Of Love
Genre: CCM
Having roots as a worship team, I Am They have established their presence within Christian Music by displaying their versatile musicianship and unique choice of instrumentation in many of their songs - which often hints at bluegrass in style but they definitely don’t limit themselves to any one genre of music. King of Love contains a fresh and very welcome sound for the 2015 Worship Music scene. And if you are part of a church worship team, don’t be put off by their use of instruments that may not be in your usual set up - their songs have proven to be adaptable for congregational worship.
Buy now

2. Owl City - My Everything
Genre: Pop / Worship
While he has always been open about his Christian faith, in his latest release Adam Young (aka Owl City) has begun to explore this more readily through music. His new single ‘My Everything’ is sure to spark debate among his following. Personally, we love the work of Owl City and have been enjoying his new album ‘Mobile Orchestra’. Later in the album he also teams up Christian artist Britt Nicole for the song ‘You are not alone’ which is well worth a listen. Thanks Owl City - we like this new direction you’re going in!
Buy now

3. Chris August - The Maker
Genre: Worship
On a first listen, this song seems fairly generic in style and in some ways is everything you would expect to be produced by a CCM artist. However, the choice of instrumentation blended with the sounds of nature in the introduction sets the tone perfectly to assist the delivery of the song’s message. Give this song a few listens before making up your mind as it can take some time for it to really grow on you. Together with its well-produced video which celebrates the beauty found in nature, this song has potential to really speak to your soul with its clear, poignant message - celebrating and praising our Maker wonderfully.
Buy now

4. Travis Greene - Intentional EP
Genre: Gospel
This entire EP is a celebration of praise and worship. Travis reminds us with the verse from Romans 8 that all things work together for our good (Intentional), to thank God (Thank You For Being God), and that even when we fall, we can get back up again with God (You Got Up). We love the prominent gospel influence in Travis Greene’s work which he is able to fuse so succinctly with a range of different music genres and styles. Well worth a listen this fall!
Buy now

5. Ginny Owens - No Borders
Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Until recently, I didn’t know much about Ginny Owens, but hearing some of her latest stuff has definitely left me wanting more. On her website, a quote from Ginny Owens herself reads, “Life is about us living in each other’s stories, and our stories intertwining. My role is to be an encourager through music”. And Ginny has managed to create music which is not over-complicated, contains important messages and simply lifts the soul.
Buy now

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6. Salt of the Sound - Dwell Among Us
Genre: Reflective
We’re super excited to release our first experimental worship song: Dwell Among Us. The song was borne out of a personal situation, a reminder that God has not left us to do His work without Him. Rather, His spirit continues to dwell within us, is working in us and through us in all that we do if we only ask Him and let Him. Also included on this single is a live version of the hymn 'Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus'. Thanks for listening!
Buy now

7. Hillsong United - Empires
Genre: Electronic / Worship
Hillsong’s album release earlier this year finds them using a style much more in line with that of their 2013 global worship sensation ‘Oceans’, and, in our opinion, this is possibly their best release to date! There is something so good about hearing bands continuing to evolve and explore different musical styles and Hillsong have done this with their ‘United’ release and all of the songs on this album lend themselves so well to personal worship. Particularly notable songs on the album are ‘Touch The Sky’, ‘Even When It Hurts’ and ‘Heart Like Heaven’.
Buy now

8. Matt Maher - Because He Lives (Amen)
Genre: Worship
This is not the first time we have featured music from Matt Maher - he appears in our Good Friday playlist and in our Best Worship Songs of 2014. The power of his songs comes through in the straightforward nature of the chorus lyrics and familiarity of the words in the bridge: “Because He lives I can face tomorrow / Because He lives every fear is gone / I know He holds my life, my future in His hands”. In many ways, this song seems too short and repetition of this bridge could be added in a church worship setting. On this full 18 track release of ‘Saints and Sinners’ from Matt Maher, we also recommend checking out the unplugged version of Because He Lives, the down-tempo Abide With Me and the prayerful, yet powerful worship song 'Everything is Grace.'
Buy now

9. Robbie Seay Band - Psalms LP
Genre: Worship
The Psalmic concept of Robbie Seay Band’s latest album is a great example of music being used as a vessel to carry the messages of the Psalms perfectly. Here at Salt of the Sound, we strongly believe that there is a place for all genres and styles of music to be used for worship and while there are many fantastic praise and worship songs out there, in this LP, The Robbie Seay Band strip it all back by setting the Word of God to music. While not as complex melodically as many of the entries in this list, this simple concept and the heart behind it, make it a real contender for one of the best worship albums this year. Some of the stand-out tracks have to be Psalm 118 (Your Steadfast Love), Psalm 96 (Let the Earth rejoice) and the instrumental Psalm 42 (Hope in God). Well worth a listen.
Buy now

10. Chaos Curb Collaboration - Everywhere
Genre: Alternative / Worship
UK-based Chaos Curb Collaboration have a strong focus on using their gifts of leadership to spread the gospel into communities by partnering with local churches. Their worship music embodies an extension of this work as the themes contain a focus on searching for God (through the song ‘Everywhere’), a longing to know Him more and live life solely for Him (as heard in ‘Connection’) and fulfilling God’s calling on their lives through all they do through their Bless Outreach Events (which comes through thematically in ‘Atmosphere’). If you’ve not heard of Chaos Curb, you should check out their work and their music - they really have hearts for spreading the gospel in an effective way in 2015 through their worship music and so much more.
Buy now


The top 10 worship songs of 2014

1. Hezekiah Walker - Every Praise
Genre: Gospel
We mentioned this gospel worship song back in our Easter Worship Songs post earlier this year but this song has continued to grow on me. I first heard this song the week after I heard some sad news about a family member who has terminal cancer, and it touched me then. There is something truly powerful about a worship song which makes you want to praise God and feel closer to Him through the storms of life a well as the good times. This is my song of the year and it has quite rightly been nominated for Gospel Performance of the Year and Contemporary Gospel/Urban Song of the Year at this year’s Dove Awards
Buy now

2. Francesca Battistelli - Holy Spirit
Genre: Worship
In contrast to a lot of her songs, this song is specifically written as a worship song and it is featured on the Wow Worship 2014 album. One of the most appealing aspects of this worship song, aside from its memorable melody, is that the heartfelt words have a sense of being ‘real’. By this, I mean the song is not trying to impress - it is prayerful & its soulful honesty is very welcome for a worship song in 2014.
Buy now

3. Anthony Skinner - The Sound That Saved Us All
Genre: Worship
It is not the first time we have featured this song - we also recommended it in our Easter playlist. Reusing and adapting lyrics from well-known hymns or worship songs, whilst also setting them to new music, is not easy and Anthony Skinner has done a great job with ‘The Sound That Saved Us All’.
Buy now

4. Audrey Assad - Lead Me On
Genre: Worship
Yet another beautiful song from Audrey Assad, 'Lead Me On' lends itself to worship extremely well. In fact, while you may not use all of the songs in a ‘worship’ setting, we highly recommend listening to this EP in it’s entirety. It also includes a stunning reworked version of the well known worship song ‘Open the eyes of my heart’.
Buy now

5. Anita Tatlow - All For You
Genre: Worship
A project I have been developing alongside Salt Of The Sound has involved writing new worship music. Here is my first song, All for you, which explores the theme of giving yourself completely to God, heart and soul. I’d love to know what you think so do leave a comment below or on SoundCloud.
Buy now

6. Hillsong Young & Free - The Stand
Genre: Worship
I love this worship song from Hillsong Young & Free which, in my opinion, is one of the best worship songs to come from Hillsong in recent times. Released as a single earlier this year and appearing on the Wow Worship (Lime) compilation album, this song has received well-deserved coverage. Unusually, the chorus comes in at a much lower pitch than the verse, but I like that they have both a female and male vocalist to lead different parts of the same song - as a worship leader myself, this is a welcome solution for worship songs with wide ranging melodic lines.
Buy now

7. Big Daddy Weave - The Only Name (Yours Will Be)
Genre: Worship
From the fairly generic opening of this song, I didn’t think I was going to like this song, but I urge you to give it a little time. The message is simple - one name. The repetition of the melody that occurs in both the verse and the chorus lends itself to congregational worship extremely well. Not only this, but the hooks Big Daddy Weave have created are catchy, upbeat and fun. Definitely worth a listen.
Buy now

8. Elevation Worship - Raised To Life
Genre: Worship
If you are looking for a more downtempo worship song, this is a great worship song from Elevation’s Raised to Life EP. As the title of the song, Raised to Life, suggests, it speaks of death overcome and the greatness of Christ. The words of the bridge perfectly encapsulate the essence of the song in my mind: ‘Sin was strong but our sin was stronger, our sin was great but Jesus, you’re greater!’
Buy now

9. Jamie Grace - To Love You Back
Genre: CCM
I love Jamie Grace's music, and although she might not be the first artist to spring to mind when thinking about 'worship' music, I think 'To Love You Back' would work really well as a worship song. This would be an awesome song to take and make your own, either with a full band or as a more acoustic set.
Buy now

10. Kari Jobe - Breathe On Us
Genre: Worship
Kari Jobe and her team do create some great music, and while sometimes it can border on the generic, we are impressed with Kari Jobe’s latest live album (we featured her song 'Forever' in our Easter worship music article). Do have a listen to this worship song - it sounds fantastic with a full band & we think it would also work well in a more acoustic style.
Buy now


The top 10 worship songs of 2013

1. Matt Maher - Lord, I Need You
Genre: Worship
Showing that simple is often the most effective, Maher’s chorus lyrics for this worship song read: Lord, I need You, oh, I need You / Every hour I need You / My one defence, my righteousness / Oh God, how I need You
If this is our constant prayer, what else do we need?
Buy now

2. Mike Clark Band - Holy Hands
Genre: Worship
I know that we have mentioned this song before, but this has got to be one of the best worship songs to come out of 2013 and be continuing on its upwards trajectory in 2014. This would work well in so many settings - from communion or a time of prayer, to an uplifting congregational song for worship. Again, it is not overly complicated - I see a pattern emerging here...
Buy now

3. Josh Wilson - Carry Me
Genre: CCM
New Release Tuesday’s review of this worship song from Josh Wilson sums it up much better than I can. This is what they had to say: “Carry me exhibits Wilson’s gift of relating the challenges of life and the need for a Savior like no one else. The song is a simple, honest prayer asking God to hold on to our fragile hearts”.
Buy now

4. Sidewalk Prophets - Help Me Find It
Genre: CCM
Sidewalk Prophets released this in 2013 from their album ‘Live like that’. This song is incredibly versatile: from experience, we can say that it also works really well as part of an acoustic set. If this album is anything to go by, we’re excited to see what Sidewalk Prophets will bring us in the not too distant future…
Buy now

5. Matthew West - Hello, My Name Is
Genre: CCM
Although released in 2012, Matthew West's album 'Into The Light' was prominent on the Christian music scene throughout 2013. He begins this song by reminding us of some of the hardships which can bring us down, including regret & defeat. The song then serves to turn this around in the chorus, reminding us of who we are made to be, through Him.
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6. Oslo Gospel Choir - You Are The Light Of The World
Genre: Gospel
While many of the songs sung by Oslo Gospel Choir are not newly written, they often produce interesting arrangements of songs & provide a good example of how songs can be adapted from the original. If you haven’t already, I recommend listening to some of their older material as well - they have created some great versions of well-known worship songs.
Buy now

7. Chris Tomlin - Crown Him (Majesty)
Genre: Worship
If there’s one thing that Chris Tomlin does really well, it’s sprucing up favourite traditional hymns & adding a rousing chorus of worship. We’ve seen it in 'The Wonderful Cross', 'Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)' and now, in his Burning Lights album, we can experience his re-working of 'Crown Him With Many Crowns'.
Buy now

8. TobyMac - Speak Life
Genre: CCM
TobyMac continued to bring the songs from his 2012 ‘Eye On It’ album it into the forefront of the Christian music scene throughout 2013 and has even continued his ‘Speak Life’ tour into 2014. Although not written as ‘worship’ music as such, TobyMac says a lot through his music & many of his songs, which, with just a little imagination, could be used effectively in a worship setting.
Buy now

9. Meredith Andrews - Open The Heavens
Genre: Worship
As the opening song on Meredith Andrew's latest album, Worth it All, this worship song is a powerful expression of a longing for God’s presence, and a exclamation of praise. While the song uses strings and vocal backings to add repeated melodic lines, adding texture and depth to the studio version, this song can easily be replicated by many church bands, making it a great worship song to listen to and to re-create in your worship service.
Buy now

10. Audrey Assad - Good To Me
Genre: Acoustic
We featured this song in our Easter Worship Songs playlist and we think it that it definitely deserves it’s place in the top songs of 2013. In fact, again, we have another example of an extremely well crafted complete worship album, in Assad’s 'Fortunate Fall'. I particularly like her sound in the worship song 'Lead Me On' - another simple, yet beautiful arrangement.
Buy now

posted by Anita Tatlow on April 18, 2017 in Inspiration


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  • LaTasha Sales

    Psalmist Anita…God bless you! All the humility and love for Christ went in to this piece…amen!

  • Chuka Madubike

    Amen