Though many of today’s most well-known worship acts frequently play large services and conferences with full bands and a healthy amount of amplification, there’s something especially inmate about a raw, acoustic song.
Plus, in the modern of era of music, “worship” has become less about a genre and more about the song itself, with artists from a variety of backgrounds performing stripped-down spiritual odes about God and faith.
Here’s a look at 11 recent acoustic worship song performances from some of music’s most exciting artists.
“There’s a Light” – Liz Vice
Liz Vice remains one of the most criminally underrated artists in music. This performance of the title track from her debut album was recorded in January.
”Vapor” – Gungor
Gungor recently stopped by the RELEVANT Studio to play several tracks from their brand new album One Wild Life. You can check more from the RELEVANT Studios sessions on RTV.
”In the Family” – Rivers and Robots
Rivers and Robots are making some of the most interesting music in the praise and worship genre. Though this may not technically be a traditional “acoustic” performance, its stripped down vibe makes it a cool showcase of the band’s unique style.
”My Soul Finds Rest” – Sandra McCracken
Like the rest of Sandra McCracken’s Psalms album, “My Soul Finds” combines timeless lyrics with her soulful vocals.
”Your Love Is Enough” – Jon Foreman
Unlike his more pop, rock-out work with Switchfoot, Jon Foreman’s solo albums are more mellow and stripped down, showing how at his core, he’s a really great songwriter.
”Beautiful Man” – Christian Lewis
Despite the presence of a full band, Christian Lewis’ emotional performance of “Beautiful Man” manages to create an intimate, one-on-one feel.
”Empires” – Hillsong United
They may be known for their energetic stage shows, but Hillsong United is still great in a barebones, coffee shop style.
”I Dreamed There Was a Fountain” – John Mark McMillan
John Mark McMillan doesn’t write traditional church songs, but this recent performance (from this April) of “I Dreamed There Was a Fountain” is just as worshipful as anything you’ll hear on Sunday morning.
”Rejoice” – Dustin Kensrue
Recorded before the dissolution of Mars Hill (where he was a worship leader), Thrice frontman Dustin Kensrue brings his gravelly soul to a spiritual praise anthem.
“Everything and Nothing Less” – Chris McClarney
Part of the Jesus Culture movement, Chris McClarney writes some truly powerful songs.
“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – Aaron Gillespie
Underoath drummer and Almost frontman Aaron Gillespie puts a modern twist on the classic hymn.
Jesse Carey is a mainstay on the weekly RELEVANT Podcast and member of RELEVANT's executive board. He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two kids.