Three months ago I wrote a post called “Suffering and the Problem with Christian Songs” about the harmful way many popular CCM songs portray suffering.
Many of you shared it on social media and contributed to making it my most popular post to date.
In August, I wrote a post called “When God Betrays Your Trust” about how the language of lament leads us into a deeper trust in God’s goodness. It also resonated strongly with a lot of you and many of you reached out to share your stories of suffering and lament with me.
Today, I want to follow up on those two articles by highlighting some albums that put biblical lament to music. I also wanted to share some of my favorite artists who sing about joy and suffering realistically. Such artists may be hard to come by, but they do exist. They sing about the commingling of pain and hope and beauty. They sing about the brokenness of our world and the redemption that’s coming.
Songs of Lament
Lamentations: Simple Songs of Lament and Hope
This album by Bifrost Arts is full of scriptural laments set to beautiful music. You can listen to it for free on Bandcamp. It is available for purchase on iTunes. If you feel like you want to lament but don’t know how this is a great place to start. Many of the lyrics come directly from Scripture.
Songs of Lament
This album by Rachel Wilhelm is also full of scriptural laments. Rachel is a fibromyalgia sufferer and this album was birthed out of her own season of suffering. You can listen to it for free on Bandcamp. It is available for purchase on iTunes
My Favorite Artists
The following is a list of my favorite artists. Not all of their songs are about suffering but I have chosen to highlight those given the subject of my blog. (This list obviously reflects my personal tastes in music and I am in no way saying that these are the only artists who sing about life realistically)
This woman is an incredibly insightful and beautiful songwriter. You get the feeling that she reads a lot, thinks deeply and loves intensely. I adore all her music. I’ve never heard anyone else that sounds like her.
Josh Garrels is so amazing. He has a very unique style. I can’t really describe it. My favorite albums are “Love & War & the Sea in Between” and “Home”
Brooke Fraser has been a favorite since I was a teenager. She has a knack for weaving words together beautifully. Her voice is very moving. My favorite albums are “Albertine” and “Flags.”
Also a favorite since my teen years. I’ve always appreciated his raw honesty and poetic lyrics.
Sons of Korah
What the Sons of Korah are doing is pretty amazing. They are putting the Psalms to music. All of their lyrics are straight from Scripture. They include both Psalms of lament and Psalms of praise.
Audrey has such a beautiful voice. I would describe her music as lovely, worshipful and meditative. “Fortunate Fall” and her hymns album “Inheritance” are my favorite.
By the way, Brett and I made a beautiful PDF of my favorite resources for suffering souls. I created the content and he made it look fancy with his superduper graphic design skills. It’s available for free to my email subscribers. Click here to sign up and receive 5 Resources for the Suffering Soul.