Have you ever stumbled upon a song that quickly became the anthem of your heart?  When you find a song that speaks your language, it’s like hitting the jackpot.  But with the amount of new music coming out every month, it’s nearly impossible to keep up.  You inevitably miss some gems.  The UTR Panel of Critics have recently helped release our official list of the Best Albums and Songs of the First Half of 2021.  This playlist features most of the music cited on that list.  Enjoy over 3.5 hours of the most meaningful and well-crafted music released in the first half of 2021.  [And for the first time, this playlist is now available on YouTube Music! – Please click “follow” on the platform you use so we have an idea where you prefer to listen.]

Curator’s Notes  (Critics’ Picks – 2021A)

I am so grateful for our amazing Panel of Critics.  They always find some gems that I had missed (even though I’m more active than most on keeping track of new music).  This playlist represents some of the cream that rose to the top in the first 6 months of 2021 – including well-known names like Jon Foreman, Ellie Holcomb, Crowder, & Charlie Peacock… and some likely new discoveries, like The Fuzzy Robes, Daniel Snoke, Sarah Juers, & Gloria Fanchiang.  This is a playlist packed full with stellar song after stellar song.

TRACK LIST  (Critics Picks – Best of 2021A)

Released July 2021

Good Trouble – Leigh Nash, Ruby Amanfu
A Place Called Earth – Jon Foreman (ft. Lauren Daigle)
Hallelujah’s Song (Psalm 103) – JUDAH. (ft. Caleb Chapman)
Stronger – Ellie Holcomb
Winter: Will – The Arcadian Wild
Our Psalm 23 – Common Hymnal (ft. Sharon Irving)
Tears – Future of Forestry
It’s Possible – The Gray Havens
Broken Harvest – Madison Cunningham
Love Never Fails – Andy Squyres
Out of the Dust – Peace Ike
I’m Going Home – Natalie Bergman
Signs are Down – Zach Winters
The Captain – Charlie Peacock
Turn the Tables – Caroline Cobb
Imago Amor – Remedy Drive
Just Like You – NF
Good God Almighty – Crowder
Never a Day – For the Fatherless
I Don’t Really Care – Mat Kearney
Keep Moving – Royce Lovett
Into the Mystery – Needtobreathe
Up from My Youth – Advent Birmingham (ft. Terence June Gray & Cashback)
Build The House – Ross King
Psalm 73 – Poor Bishop Hooper
Echinacea Tea – Physick
Press On – Drakeford
Mountains of Hope – Mona Reeves
Expectations – Joel Ansett
I Need You (to be wrong) – Switchfoot
Evergreen – Andrew Ripp
Range Rover – Ben Rector (ft. Steve Winwood)
Earth – Sarah Juers
The Woods – The Choir
Come and Save Me – Danielson
We All In – Propaganda (ft. DJ Mal-Ski & Lecrae)
Bring You Home – The Dailys
Let Us Say – Weston Skaggs
Fragile – Mitch McVicker
All Flame – Carolyn Arends
Almost Home – Roemer
Broken World – Daniel Snoke
American Elegy – Teressa Mahoney
I Pulled the Sheet Back Over My Head – The Chairman Dances
Deliver Me – Rachel Wilhelm
The politics of Kindness – Paul Field
Jesus, I Have My Doubts – Jon Foreman
Living in the Last Days – Elizabeth King
The Day That I Moved Out – Make Sure
God Who Sees Us – Gloria Fanchiang
First Love – Young Oceans
Q2FN – Chase Tremaine
Song of Simeon / Nunc Dimittis – The Fuzzy Robes
Sober & Skinny – Brittney Spencer
It’ll Be Alright – Arthur Alligood