Written by Steven Potter. Media by Steven Potter.
Worship music is often criticized for being boring and unoriginal. Every once in a while though, a new artist arrives on the scene and changes things up. Hillsong Church, based out of Sydney, Australia, is known worldwide for writing and producing many of the popular worship songs used in churches all over the world under a variety of different artist names. The newest Hillsong Band, called Hillsong Young and Free, is taking the praise and worship music genre in a whole new direction. Young and Free is Hillsong’s latest youth oriented band, after United kind of went off and did their own thing, and they’ve embraced an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) oriented sound.
What may seem like a strange move for Hillsong actually makes sense. EDM seems to be the latest trend popping up in the mainstream music industry. Even non-EDM artists have begun using more and more synth and key sounds as opposed to the guitar and drum-centered music that was prevalent for so long. Since Hillsong aims to create worship music that’s relevant to today’s trends it was only a matter of time before they started heading in this direction.
When I first listened to their kick off album (Young and Free) I thought it was so weird. I’ve been used to worship music being guitar-centered for a while, so to me the idea of church being a big dance party was just too bizarre to consider. But as I listened to it more I began to warm up to the new sound. This album is so much fun to listen to and it creates an atmosphere of worship that I think will really reach the current middle and high school generation.
I do have concerns about the use of many of these songs outside of a youth setting. The lyrics in most of songs on the album don’t really go much deeper than your typical Jr. High Summer camp tunes, which is fine because I’m pretty sure that’s who they were writing for. But, I would still caution worship leaders to use their judgment before trying to introduce these songs to a congregation.
For anyone who’s interested in checking these guys out here is a little taste of their new sound.