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A guest post from Nahar Mama: I’m not really sure how I first heard about Sarah Masen, but she was one of the first Christian artists I picked up after becoming a Christian myself. I’d always been into acoustic/folk sort of music, so she fit right into my collection. Listening to her now, I have a hard time seeing her music as Christian music; she’s more of a Christian (I think) that writes songs about life. I guess that makes her fit right in with the whole “Christian indie” scene.
Sarah did not start out totally indie; her first albums were put out by the re:think label and her 2001 “The Dreamlife of Angels” was put out by Word. She has just completed three EPs and is releasing them independently, handmaking all the cover jackets herself. These three are called “Women’s Work is Alchemy,” “Magic that Works,” and “A History of Lights and Shadows.” [Editor’s note: Creeeepy.] You can listen to all of them in streaming audio here.
I hope you enjoyed your weekend, but now it’s back to work with day four (and week two) of “Girls of Christian Indie.” Be sure to check out previous posts on Lori Chaffer, Karen Peris, and Misty Edwards.
So who do we have for you all today? None other than that crazy world, folk, tribal, roots rock group The Ragbirds, of course! This group is an eclectic mix of music, merging styles ranging from traditional folk to Irish, to rock, to world, to roots, to African, to Afro-Cuban, to Indian, to gypsy… You’ll hear guitar, banjo, violin, djembe, accordion, mandolin, piano, drumset, bass, congas, harmonica, and other random instruments.
Here we are on Day Three of “Girls of Christian Indie,” what’s becoming a two-week look at… some girls of Christian indie music. We’ve already looked at Lori Chaffer and Karen Peris, so today, to switch it up a little bit, I give you Misty Edwards.
Misty Edwards is a worship leader coming out of IHOP (the International House of Prayer, not Pancakes) in Kansas City, not a 3rd grade teacher or a senior airman in Iraq. In case you were wondering. (Note: I found these pictures of other Misty Edwardses when I searched for the real Misty Edwards who is featured in this post here.)
Yes, she is a worship leader, and a very good one at that, in my opinion.
Welcome back to “Girls of Christian Indie!” For Day Two, we’ll be looking at Karen Peris and The Innocence Mission.
I first found out about The Innocence Mission from a video of Sufjan Stevens performing their song Lakes of Canada here. I loved the song and decided to find out about the band who first wrote it.
And that band was The Innocence Mission, led by husband-wife duo of Don and Karen Peris, with a touch of drums by Steve Brown and bass by Mike Bitts. All the musicians are really good, but it’s Karen’s vocals that set the band apart from the rest, especially since Steve Brown left the band in 1999, forcing a more acoustic approach to things.
Welcome to Day 1 of “Girls of Christian Indie!” Now, before you go and get your minds in the gutter, this is gonna be a clean list. I was thinking about it the other day how most bands are fronted by guys, and this is especially true in the mainstream market. Girls who don’t like to lip-synch or dance around half-naked (or do this) have a harder time than their male counterparts in making it in the mainstream market. Indie, though, indie is a different story.
Sort of. There still is an over-abundance of guys in indie music, but I feel there is more of an openness to girls who wanna make some noise. For the next week or two, depending on how you all like the theme, I’ll be posting about some of the women of indie music who I think deserve your attention. This will not be a best-of list – just a list of some musicians you shouldn’t skip past.
First off, meet Lori Chaffer. With a voice that can go from soft and soothing to loud and powerful to high and dreamy, all in the same song, Lori’s got a vocal range that’s impressive. Ever since I heard her singing with Waterdeep, I was hooked. With so many copycat dancing Christian pop girl bands (nice imagery, huh?), Lori Chaffer is a nice alternative.