In the past, you’d be hard-pressed to come across a worship outfit that ventured far from the Maranatha and Vineyard formula of simple chords and even simpler lyrics. Thankfully, the modern worship music scene is growing increasingly varied, leading to a kind of renaissance of beautiful, complex musicianship paired with rich lyrics that are profound and theologically sound.
A big part of this movement is a rediscovery and re-imagining of hymns. This includes bands like Page CXVI and Bifrost Arts, as well as the work that my own church, Mars Hill, is doing through Mars Hill Music. These are just a sampling of the many great artists emerging over the US.
Onto that scene, you can now add Wayfarer, a collaboration between Torry Anderson, Jordan Butcher, Brian Hibbard, Dan Koch, and David Stuart.
Wayfarer brings together old hymns, often so old they don’t know what the original sounded like, and pairs them with a indie-folk alternative sound that’s reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, thick with harmonies and classic production techniques.
“Our hope is that this project will appeal both to people of faith, who might find devotional value in the songs,” says Torry Anderson, “as well as to those who either don’t have personal faith or are ambivalent or agnostic, solely as an interesting form of re-appropriative art, or musical recycling/re-working.”
I’d say mission accomplished. Below is a sampling of the music and a video explaining further the project.
I’d encourage you to visit their Bandcamp page, give them some support, and follow their work closely. I expect great things.