Needtobreathe’s new album “Out of Body” is a keeper

I had the pleasure of listening to this album in it’s entirety on a recent trip to Memphis. I was pumped to have the time where my attention could be wholly given (except for the driving thing, of course) to the 11-track album Out of Body. While I’m not an expert in music, I am an expert in listening to music, so what I will offer you is my reaction to this album after listening through it all for the first time, with a quick note: I had heard 2 of the tracks before the full album release, “Who Am I” and “Mercy’s Shore.” 

My first thought to share after listening to all of it is that Needtobreathe is one of the best, most authentic, bands playing music that will not only resonate with you, but will also spark a fire in your soul if you let it. The key is, will you let it? Are you in a place to receive music that says ‘it’s ok to not be ok’ because there is a God that knows. 

The band is known for their deep spirituality showing up in their songs, but they also have a lighter side. I’m thinking of one of my favorite songs, “Girl Named Tennessee,” from the 2009 album The Outsiders.  

See? It’s just fun. Well, don’t hold your breath because Out of Body has no such song… and that’s OK! Each of the tracks are either thought-provoking in their projection of who God is to us as His creation, or lovely in their profession of love towards another person. Yes, I’m referring to “Banks.” 

And if you ever feel like you are not enough, I’m gonna break all your mirrors.

I want to be there when the darkness closes in to make the truth a little clearer. 

I want to hold you close but never hold you back, I’ll be the banks for your river.

With every album that they release, I am becoming more and more of a lifelong fan. I would even greatly hesitate to say they “make Christian music,” let’s just call it music about life on earth, the ups and downs, the love and loss, the heartbreak and hope, it’s just plain ol’ great music that’s about God but never comes close to preachy.  

-Out of the Wilderness

Cardi B and “Wap” is a great reminder…

There is a lot of controversy over Cardi B’s new song, opinions which I will not get into now… except to say sometimes leaving something to the imagination is the way to go, you know? Cardi B doesn’t really leave any room for that and I hope to God my young nieces and nephew can decipher why this song and video are just nasty and unhealthy (because let’s face it, every kid everywhere has seen or heard the song, sadly). 

I hesitate with extreme effort to call this song art. I’m of the opinion that Cardi B and this song specifically will be more like a shooting star. It’s here only for a moment. Better yet, as to not associate Cardi B’s song with anything as beautiful as a shooting star, how about a pesky mosquito that needs to be squashed? Yes, that’s better.

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Photo by Jimmy Chan on

Then I think about another band that has been burning brightly for over a decade. Yesterday I rediscovered why I love the band Muse. I had totally forgotten about 2 albums they put out around 2010 and gosh, listening again was a boost of encouragement. Art in music still exists. Lyrical depth still exists. Musicianship still exists. Imagination still exists.

Cardi B is a great reminder that Muse makes great music. 

So for any of you who have risked listening to Cardi B’s “WAP” just to know what kids might be exposed to these days– first take a shower to get that nastiness off you, then check out a few of the links below to feel hopeful again. Good music is still out there, don’t let Cardi B make you believe otherwise! 

-Out of the Wilderness

My top 5 worship songs – August 2020

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Photo by Pixabay on

If you’re like me you have a Spotify playlist for almost every occasion. I’ve got four playlists for softball, two for the beach, a Christmas playlist, dancing music, funeral music, two Disney playlists, and more, but the one I’ll highlight today is my worship playlist. The songs range from artists like Phil Wickham, Bethel Music, Andrew Peterson, Shane & Shane, and many more. From this list, I’ve selected my top 5 worship songs for August 2020. Take a look and a listen below, then scroll down to comment with a few of your favorites from this month!

“The Blessing” – Kari Job, Cody Carnes

I first heard this one on a livestream from Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia after visiting the church in person back in March (before everything went online). Side note: come back to this link to read more about my Atlanta road trip, it was awesome.

“My Hallelujah” – Bryan & Katie Torwalt

This one has been a favorite for years… or weeks. Time feels suspended in quarantine, you know? I can’t help but be uplifted and pumped up every time I hear it. The lyrics are like a fight song, a banner, and a comfort backed by a nice drum beat.

“O Praise the Name (Anastasis)” – Hillsong Worship

If this song doesn’t move you, melt your heart, make your adrenaline run faster, and make you want to rise up to any challenge, you’re a robot that should be melted down and sold at an auction for scrap metal.

“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus / Nearer My God to Thee” – Elvis Presley

I’m sure I came across this during a Sunday morning Gospel session on SiriusXM’s Elvis station and how lucky was I that morning? Aside from the lyrics being gospel, the simple satisfying message to throw earthly things aside, just listen to Elvis’s voice, and especially his passon during the “Nearer My God to Thee” part of the medley. Doesn’t get any better than that, folks.

“Victory Chant” – college campus

I stumbled across this one as I was listening to live performances of “Victory Chant,” and honestly, my best guess is that it’s from the campus of University of Southern California. I like the vibe of the room, the lead worship guy’s voice, and the overall joy in the room.

If you have a second, subscribe to my blog for updates on future posts. I’m posting one a day for the entire 2020 year. Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

Tyson ad features “Family” by Drew Holcomb and a whole bunch of friends

Every once in a while there’s a good… no, no, a REALLY good reason to wake up early in the morning. Sometimes it’s a heartwarming Publix ad, but recently I was lucky enough to catch this commercial…

I stumbled to my phone to Shazam the music and found out it’s Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors “Family,” such a fun song and perfect for the ad it accompanies. There’s a lot more going on with the song (released in April 2019). Head over to the band’s Facebook page to upload a video of your family dancing (or whatever you want to do) to the song along with the hashtag #FamilyDanceParty for a chance to win a Zoom call with Drew and his wife Ellie.

Now for the official music video…

The video features the band, obviously, and a few of their closest friends. I recognized some of my favorites like NeedtoBreathe, JohnnySwim, and The Secret Sisters (check out a video I made at one of their shows, the nicest sisters!), but thanks to 91.9 WFPK in Louisville, Kentucky, here is the full list of friends and family in the video:

The War and Treaty, NEEDTOBREATHE, Judah & the Lion, Penny and Sparrow, The New Respects, JOHNNYSWIM, The Secret Sisters, Devon Gilfillian, Jon McLaughlin, Ben Rector, Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Darlingside, Carly Bannister, Mat Kearney, Colony House, Dave Barnes, Liz Vice, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Stephen Kellogg, The Oh Hellos, Joseph Sean McConnell, Lori McKenna, Propaganda, Natalie Hemby, Nathan Dugger, Rich Brinsfield.

Awesome song, awesome video, awesome use of a song in a TV ad! You can find Drew Holcomb on the socials below…




Thanks for stopping by…

-Out of the Wilderness

That graduation TV commercial you have been seeing on Hulu

I saw this advertisement yesterday for the 100th time and finally found out more about it. The background of it is documented well here but in a nutshell, the artist is Bebe Rexha and the title of the song is “Here’s to 2020″… a 30-second tribute to this year’s graduating class, of which my amazing soon-to-be-a-graduate niece said: wp-15903460750533866151656076792765.jpg

At first I thought it was Ann-Marie, an artist who has a track about 2002, among other hit songs. However, my knowledge of blonde pop singers is admittedly lacking.

Walgreens tags the ad with “add some pomp to your circumstance” which is a clever play on the title of the 1901 orchestra song we all know from graduations, “Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar.

I like this modernization of the song from Bebe Rexha. It’s clearly for the TikTok crowd as it accompanies #GradJump on the social/music app.

For another fun ad, check out this really cute ad from Dixie Cups.

To conclude, I’m also a fan of the graduation song included below from way back when I was a recent grad… this one is by Vitamin C and it’s called “Graduation (Friends Forever).” This song is based on Pachelbel’s Canon in D, another of my favorites. OK, I could go on and on about music but for now I’ll just say… ummmmm cool.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness