31, A Musical Reflection With No Accompanying Music

31 has come and gone, and I have tried to write a wrap up but couldn”t find a fitting way to put it into words. You see in many ways the promise that the Philscal year started with was broken, and in many ways better promises emerged. It should say a lot about a year in your life when the Bible verse you returned to the most was as follows:


Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying  his  bag of seed,  Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves  with him. (Psalm 126:5, 6 NASB)


I don”t want it to sound like it was all bad; I mean I did have an awesome nephew join my family. Mizuki is an awesome little guy and a fantastic addition to the family. I also found something that had been missing the last few years of my life, a solid group of friends who would be used to both pick me up and challenge me constantly to push through any form of indolence that would try to overtake me.


In the midst of the moments of heartache and the moments of joy, I also locked onto some new music throughout the year. I would like to share with you some of the best that I found. Be forewarned; if you don”t like folk/bluegrass music, you probably won”t like much of the list. Give it a try anyway. 🙂


The Vespers


I”ve written a post about them before, but it bears repeating; this band is truly amazing on a lot of different fronts. Not only are they incredibly talented musically, but it is also very apparent that they love Jesus and are humbly following His direction for them. Each band member is a good follow on twitter as well. All their songs are pretty terrific, but a few of my favorites off of their latest album “The Fourth Wall” are as follows: Better Now, Close My Eyes, Lawdy, and Instrument for You. These are just a few. I”d recommend that you check out all of their stuff!


The Avett Brothers


This is one of those bands that has been around for a while. I can”t believe it took me so long to hear of them. I guess I am not as hip about the music scene as I once thought. Anyway these guys are musical and especially lyrical geniuses; I only wish that I could put words together the way that they do. As I said they have so many albums that it”s hard to pick just a few songs to recommend. They”re latest album came out in September and it is great start to finish. Here are just a few that I have listened to over and over since I found out about them: Laundry Room, If It”s the Beaches, I and Love and You, The Ballad of Love and Hate, The Once and Future Carpenter. There are too many to list so go to Pandora or Spotify and get to listening.


Kacie Williams/ Neighbour


I originally started following Kacie on twitter because of her hilarious and thought provoking tweets. It was only later that I found out that not only is she a way talented tweeter, she”s also an incredibly talented singer/songwriter. She has recorded both under her name and the band name Neighbour; be careful what you find under Neighbour as there is also a Canadian hip hop band who have a hit song called “Booty Crusader.” I was a little confused when listening to Spotify. 🙂 She has a few EPs out there that are all terrific. A few of my favorite songs are as follows: Like to Fall, New Jerusalem, Wild Chorus, and Til I”m with You. Go buy her stuff!


The Lighthouse and the Whaler


I discovered these guys through the website; they have a really unique, really unique sound. I mean how many bands out there do you know who play a xylophone regularly in their songs? They not only do it, but they pull it off. Like all the other bands listed, the lyrics here are deep. The following are a few of my favorites: Under Mountain Underground, Pioneers, White Days,Venice, and Iron Doors.


Honorable mentions go out to


Jenny and Tyler, The Spring Standards, Of Monsters and Men, and Zach Williams



These all would have had their own write ups had this hadn”t already been getting so long.


Albums that released this year from bands I”d already heard of that are worth listening to:


BattleBorn by The Killers

Babelby Mumford and Sons

Forever Yours by Gateway Worship

Mindy Smith self titled

Fallen Empires by Snow Patrol


I know I”m leaving several others out, but these are the ones that I remember that stood out.


A future release that I am looking forward to is Jason Scott”s “Brighter Shining Still.” This record is going to be awesome beyond belief. If you”d like more information or want to support it, visit You won”t be disappointed.


What about you, what music has inspired you in the last year of your life? Any new bands I should be aware of?

4 Responses to “31, A Musical Reflection With No Accompanying Music”

  1. Ah, “philscal”–now that is some kind of wordplay. It’s like it almost doesn’t work then it smacks you in the face and says, “hey, you know I work.” Nicely done. And “booty crusader”? Is that about pirates or something? Not familiar with that lingo… 🙂 Happy birthday, Philip! See you soon.
    Jason Stasyszen recently posted..Prayer of Steadfast PraiseMy Profile

  2. Caleb says:

    I have a felling that you found Kacie Williams while listening to that “Booty Crusader” song. Nice cover up. lol