We’re here each month to share with you some of the abundance of excellent well-crafted faith-based music. This month is no exception. So we present to you the September 2023 edition of UTR Media’s New & Notable music. If any of these recordings have impacted you feel free to tell us. If you have music you would like us to consider, send an email to utrsubmissions@gmail.com.



Going out on a limb to call this album NEEDTOBREATHE’s best since Outsiders. Musically powerful with lyrics ripe with spiritual truth. Upbeat rockers match with introspective ballads which make up a complete package of southern rock goodness. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

Wayward & Home, Pt. 2 – Drakeford

These songs pull me in and settle on my heart like a healing balm.  Catchy melodies, clever rhymes, and perfect vocals.  Even though the hooks are sticky, they are not afraid to tackle some bold and deep themes.  Lots of layers to unravel on repeat listens. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

In The Throes – Buddy & Julie Miller

This amazing release from Buddy & Julie Miller finds them at the peak of their creativity. This is their fourth album together, after more than 40 years of marriage and you will find all the music expertly written and recorded, as one would expect. The songs deal with topics that are personal, timely, and socially pertinent. A must listen. SPOTIFY LINK YOUTUBE LINK BANDCAMP LINK

The Beautiful Letdown Our Version (Deluxe Version) – Switchfoot

To say The Beautiful Letdown is one of the most iconic alt-Christian albums of the early 00s is not an understatement, so when Switchfoot decided to re-record it, no one was mad. Ranging from complete overhauls in sound and tone to faithful versions performed by different artists, the beauty of the deluxe version is in the diversity and caliber of those involved, showcasing the beauty of an album that God has used to draw people to his side for two decades. SPOTIFY LINK   YOUTUBE LINK

 Memory Unfixed – Mike Mains & the Branches

Mains says he writes songs with the hope of helping others feel less alone. His introspective, storytelling style of lyric building does just that while underscoring it with jumpy, staccato, guitar-driven riffs. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

It Was Dark Until It Wasn’t – Sarah Juers

Sarah boldly shares her journey of coping with clinical depression. If you are dealing with or have dealt with this, her vulnerable sharing should be a healing experience for you as you listen through the whole recording. And the music perfectly fits the topic. Thank you, Sarah.  SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

Hopeful Hearts Club – Jervis Campbell

Independent folk/pop/worship singer Jervis Campbell’s new album is nuanced and layered, showing an incredible knack for instrumentation and production, all the while telling the story of heartbreak, hopelessness, and hope. Tinged melancholy but anchored in joy, fans of Josh Garrells or Mumford and Sons will devour this piece of art. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

Becoming – Dia Viola

This debut EP has an instant WOW factor.  Maybe it’s the gutsy, honest lyrics.  Maybe it’s the genre-bending ride in just six songs.  Or maybe… just maybe… it’s Dia’s powerhouse vocals that make this an artist I want to follow for years to come.  SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

A Hard History of Love – Matt Wheeler

Matt Wheeler presents a suite of songs, stories, and a poem all inspired by a collection of short stories by beloved author Wendell Berry. Although each track can stand on its own, the record is best listened to straight through to get the full impact. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK BANDCAMP LINK

Best Days – Sarah Reeves

Blending pop perfection with vulnerability, Sarah’s album explores her journey through mental illness, self-worth, and divorce. With the uncanny ability to create melodies that will stay in your head long after you’ve pressed play, the light and shade of the album will move the listener to dance, cry, and hope again as you listen. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

All the damage leads to healing anyways… – Karissa Frampton

If you’re a sucker for guitar with delay, and for vocals with a bit of reverb, and for slow melancholy songs with great vocals, this album will be an instant connection for you. It feels like we’re reading someone’s private diary, but there’s still plenty of hope in this album. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK


“Take My Cup” – Andrew Greer

This guy wears almost every hat in the business – author, producer, podcaster, TV host – and this thoughtful ballad returns us to his roots as a singer-songwriter.  Definitely has all the feels.  SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

“Not Where You Belong” – Mary Oz

This superbly recorded track from Mary Oz seeks to empower those who’ve been and continue to be victims of sexual exploitation. The music is an impressive combination of pop, rock, and rap with a women’s choir in the mix. Mary continues to not shy away from wrestling with difficult issues in her music. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

“Death Defying Joy” – Andy Squyres

His first new song in over two years, and it gets an A+ on every level.  The melody has some serious groove, while the lyrics have the weight and depth that we’ve come to love from Andy. SPOTIFY LINK   YOUTUBE LINK

“Big Open Sky Flyer” – Kylie Dailey

Kylie brings beautiful vocals to this slow country-infused track. It feels like enjoying happy memories with a slow build and a soft exit. You may want to just stay and hang out with this song for a while.  SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

“Charlie” – Coqui

This track starts out sounding like it’s maybe just a typical “Southern” -ish song, but then it makes a hard turn as soon as the vocals hit and you know you’re in for something very different than normal. This song about a friend who up & disappeared is a call for folks to “open up your eyes.” SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK BANDCAMP LINK

“Rise Up” – Kristen Budde

With literal foot-stompin’ fiddle-playin’ Bluegrass goodness and vocals to match, we are encouraged by Kristen Budde that each of us has a unique purpose and special gifts. It’s definitely an uplifting and needed message.  SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

“Muddy The Water” – Eliza Jamison

This debut track by Eliza Jamison is FANTASTIC with its rough-edged Blues/Rock influence on Americana/Pop. It’s a showcase of great musicianship and all-out expressive vocals. I suspect this track will stay on repeat for a while for many of us while we’re waiting to hear her upcoming tracks. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

“Liberated” – Joshua Luke Smith

Pastor, musician, and author Joshua Luke Smith helps facilitate Orphan No More Co. – a worship collective based out of the UK. But in his latest solo single, he shows he is just as at home in hip hop. A cry for liberation from the powers that try to dictate to us how to live out our God-given mission, this is fast, joyful, pain-filled, and is topped off by a Gospel choir. I dare you to not dance to this one!  SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

“Slow Down” – iAmSon

IAmSon encourages us to slow down, put aside distractions, and spend some time with God. The music is a pretty amazing journey – full of surprises, changes, and inventive vocals. We encourage you to slow down and spend some time with this song. SPOTIFY LINK  YOUTUBE LINK

“Talk & Do” – Limoblaze

This Nigerian artist blends a skillful cocktail of hip-hop, and gospel with afro beats into an infectious groove. Uplifting and finely crafted spiritual lyrics point us to a more internationally flavored worship worth listening to more of. SPOTIFY LINK   YOUTUBE LINK

“Better” – Trampolines

Jangly, electronic beats underscore this husband/wife duo’s deeply spiritual but not cliche lyrics. “Better” describes how God’s gifts are so much greater than our human-level perceptions.  SPOTIFY LINK   YOUTUBE LINK