Author: Casey Gallenberger

December 5, 2020

REVIEW : Make Sure / Ezekiel Songs - Split EP

Splits seem increasingly-rare; indeed, in a single-friendly, me-first musical culture, artists collaborating in mutual benefit is undeniably counter-cultural (as a side, it’s odd something even so simple seems adverse to some). But splits live on, if only solely as a remnant of DIY punk culture. There’s a raw, communal, anti-corporate element here. “We’re in this together,” the unspoken message goes. And there’s certainly plenty of community at play on this latest collaboration between Make Sure and Ezekiel Songs – the split includes one new song per artist, as well as a cover of the other artist’s tracks.… Continued →

December 3, 2020

REVIEW : Wade Walker - The Harrow

Put simply, The Harrow is an album of parables. No, you won’t need a dictionary, nor are any of the sentiments too obtuse. The central narrative instead rests in simplicity; an earthy barrenness meets dirty hands resulting in what can only be described as common man’s praise. Where others would opt for sprawling pedal boards and tireless crescendos, Wade Walker chooses a subtler option: vulnerable, poetic, alt-country worship without all of the glitz. Walker’s sophomore release is undeniably folkier than its predecessor, but what it lacks in percussion, it makes up for in craftsmanship.… Continued →

November 11, 2020

Must Hear: Andy Squyres - Dead Horse (Official Lyric Video)

Charlotte, NC wordsmith Andy Squyres has released a lyric video for his must-hear track “Dead Horse”. This track is rife with lament and worship all the same and is a great example of why I’ve clung deeply to Squyres’ songs this year. His lyrics avoid clichés on both extremes – this is far from CCM, but it does not wallow in self-pity. Other suggested tracks to check out include “The Pestle and the Mortar”, “Unanswered Prayers”, “Cherry Blossoms”, and “Before You God”.… Continued →

November 8, 2020

Four Years of Writing for IVM: A Reflection

Unbeknownst to me, apart from a Facebook post, I’ve been writing for IVM for four years now. That’s long enough to get a college degree, or a Master’s. And in some ways, that time feels like a drop in the bucket. In other ways, it has been stressful, tense, uncertain, even insurmountable at times. But in the midst of that, there have been pockets of joy, wonder, and passion. I got to tour with American Arson.… Continued →

Song of the Day: Trulah - Sign of the Times

Trulah has released an incredibly relevant, captivating song. Pairing jazz and soul with sentiments about the world’s blindness to unfolding spiritual realities, “Sing of the Times” is at once comforting and convicting. The track borrows themes from apocalyptic literature (wars and rumors of wars, the great apostasy), placing the audience in the middle of this uncomfortable reality: many are asleep, and narrow is the path to life. We have a responsibility to keep the faith and plead with the faithless.… Continued →

October 29, 2020

October 27, 2020

Audio: Remembering the Reformation

We’re over 500 years past the Reformation and Reformation Day is traditionally celebrated on October 31st. With that in mind, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on this historic event and how it has altered the Church – and world – as well as look at some songs that tie into the themes of the five solas. Like this segment? Want more like it? Let us know!
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REVIEW : Cory Breth - Wide Awake

Wide Awake is a quintessential fall album. It’s rife with alt-country flavor, down-to-earth lyrics, and bit of dust and grit to polish things off. The album serves as Cory Breth’s third major release to date, and, while fall is already turning to winter in parts of the country, the timing of its release couldn’t be much better. It’s earthen, raw at times, but Breth’s lyrics are laced with hope and truth. There’s an equal mix of proclamations of faith and ruminations on life that keep things from feeling too cliché or forcedly-Christian; nonetheless, faith is an essential part of this album and Breth’s lyrics pull back the curtain of ambiguity in a way that other artists simply don’t.… Continued →

October 25, 2020

October 20, 2020

REVIEW : The Oh Hellos - Zephyrus

With Zephyrus, The Oh Hellos close out their four-EP project spanning several years. It’s exciting and a bit sad all at once seeing the project come to an end, especially with a lengthy gap between the first and latter halves of the project. Much like the consecutive releases of Notos and Euros, Zephyrus follows Boreas closely and shows the band at a higher degree of mixing and mastering. And while Thrice’s Alchemy Index took a similar four-disk approach, it felt more experimental and diverse.… Continued →

October 13, 2020

October 11, 2020

October 7, 2020

October 5, 2020

Check Out Headship's "Propitiation" FFO: My Epic, EISM

Headship is a new band based out of Omaha, and they’re hot off the presses with their first single which is sure to please fans of My Epic, EISM, Salt Creek, and late-era Abel. It’s grungy and melodic all the same. The lyrics are a bit sparse, but nothing is wasted here – the message is one of humility in the light of the Gospel of grace. Check it out below. Continued →

September 14, 2020

Song of the Day: Benjamin Daniel - Good God

“It’s waking up into a bad dream with a good God.” Something about this line is irresistibly compelling to me. Maybe it’s the literal nightmares I’ve been having lately. Maybe it’s the chaos of the current election cycle where any and every event is blown out of proportion or warped to dehumanize the “other”. Riots. Cancel culture. Evil branded as good. It is frankly disorienting, scary, dare I say nightmarish. It is easy to forget God’s goodness in the midst of this.… Continued →

September 13, 2020

Song of the Day: Andy Squyres - What Nobody Should Know

If you like John Mark McMillan or John Van Deusen, the honestly and careful wordplay of Andy Squyres will surely feel familiar. Today is the Lord’s day and we are called to rest in Him, but our fallen, chaotic world burdens us and keeps us from this rest. The demands of society, the responsibilities of leading a family, the questions of what life will look like after college, how the election might play, global politics… Much like the psalms, Squyres reminds us that worship are genuine self-reflection are inseparable.… Continued →

September 11, 2020

Song of the Day: theLionhearted - Lover of the Light

The latest track by theLionhearted begins reminiscent of old From Indian Lakes with even hints of Emery; by the end, it is a tremelo-picked whirlwind of pounding drums and backing gang vocals that feels a bit like what we saw from Attalus. If you know me, I’m a sucker for tracks with huge endings and this fits nicely in the realm of modern indie and post-hardcore. The artwork arguably does not do this track justice – it’s a heartfelt lament and admiration of faith paired with some impressive songwriting.… Continued →

Opinion: Merch is Boring. But It Doesn't Have To Be

For seasons in my life, I’ve found myself as a professional designer. But even outside of that, I’ve been pursuing hobbies in video and photography for some years. In high school, I did pixel art for a few games (which never launched, RIP). Suffice to say, even if I’m not the best at composition, I spend a lot of time with it. I’ve spent hours getting websites laid out properly and edited videos late into the night.… Continued →

September 10, 2020

ivm

The Ultimate IVM Family Playlist - We Need YOU!

We’re building a playlist of indie Christian artists, and we know plenty of you are putting out music of your own. Your task is simple – drop one of your songs in the comments with a short blurb about it. We’ll add it to our new playlist and might also feature you on our “Song of the Day” series. Don’t write music but you someone who does? Be sure to tag them or let them know!… Continued →

September 9, 2020

Song of the Day: Sam Ule - Paint

Sam Ule (the moniker of Samuel Schmidt) is in an Indiana-based songwriter fresh off the press with his debut single. “Paint” glistens piano-pop sensibility, the kind of song that feels theatrical and upbeat. Sam Ule draws comparisons to Jason Mraz and Jon Bellion, making use of careful electro-acoustic arrangements that are warm and captivating. More music is on the way shortly. Check out Sam Ule on Instagram for updates.
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September 8, 2020

Opinion: Deconstructionism Is Passé

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and do not reflect all of the IVM staff. Orthodoxy isn’t cool, and non-Christians make better music than Christians. Now, I don’t seriously believe this – but it may as well be the mission statement underlying most formerly-professing-Christian artists. David Bazan seems to deftly annihilate the creation account in a single verse. Derek Webb parodies the liturgical experience with a song about alcohol. Bands like Animal Flag seem to dismantle the character of God.… Continued →

September 7, 2020

September 4, 2020

REVIEW : The Oh Hellos - Boreas

Boreas is far from a gentle, stereotypical winter-themed release. It has been tested by negative-degree temperatures. It has been refined in a viking furnace. It sees the Heaths adorned in makeshift bear pelt armor ready for battle. The Oh Hellos may have been in hibernation, but they've woken up roaring. 

September 3, 2020

Song of the Day: Strategic - Changing Seasons

As fall approaches, things feel a bit in flux. However, this year has dragged on and the days have inevitably started to blur together all the same. Strategic captures this sentiment well on “Changing Seasons”, an acoustic departure from his typical pop-punk style. It’s an earnest cry out to God in the midst of an uncertain world, a feeling that rings true for many of us right now. Check it out below: If you liked this, check out our playlist of similar songs: Continued →

September 2, 2020

REVIEW : John Lucas - The Bible Belt Sessions, Vol. 1

I remember my first encounter with John Lucas – his eponymous A Thousand Cathedrals feels like it’s from a different era now, as he’s has gone from an under-the-radar act to boasting almost a quarter-million monthly listeners on Spotify. Though he plays only a handful of shows a year, his music is making the rounds. And frankly, it’s not heard to see why. Kovasckitz (his proper last name) has a certain gift when it comes to songwriting.… Continued →

September 1, 2020

Playlist Alert - At The Table

We’ve put together a “coffee house” vibes playlist featuring smaller acoustic acts and larger chamber pop groups. Examples include Josh Garrels, Tow’rs, and Future of Forestry – but there are a lot of up and coming and independent artists thrown into the mix as well. These are hopefully, liturgical pieces and soothing proclamations of hope. Feel like we missed something? Let us know in the comments. Check out the playlist here and be sure to follow it!… Continued →

August 14, 2020

REVIEW : Former Ruins - Large Startling

Enchanting. It’s a word that sums up only a few truly moving albums; ones that shine lyrically, consist of artisan songcraft, and thrive off a powerful emotional response. I won’t mince words – Former Ruins offers all of this and more. Levi Dylan Sikes crafts cascading songs with The National-esque vocals and captivating folk and alt-country arrangements. It’s a solo project, but much in the same way The Winston Jazz Routine was; these songs are full, emotive, and daringly forward in their lyrical content.… Continued →

August 12, 2020

REVIEW : Kevin Schlereth - Alembic

Kevin Schlereth is a certified dude. His existence strides the line between nomadic and genius. He sports a bushy mustaches and wears dad hats and red shorts. Along with compatriot Jay Costlow, and with the rest of the Schlereth clan in tow, this musical collective is rarely in stasis (save for the past few months). They’ve become known for their relentless touring, seemingly-endless connections, and tight-knit, living room performances. Musically, the experience is a bit singer-songwriter and a bit indie rock.… Continued →

July 27, 2020

Kevin Schlereth to Release "Alembic" Collaboration 8/11

Kevin Schlereth has become a bit of a household (or more appropriately, house show) name over the past couple years due to his relentless touring, his intimate songs, and his community-based approach to music. Alembic, an archaic word referring two connected vessels, is an appropriate title for this forthcoming collection of songs. This time, Schlereth and friends have paired their art with six paintings by Danielle Monzelowsky. The creators had this to say: Alembic is a cooperative art and music project between Danielle Monzelowsky and Kevin Schlereth.Continued →

July 23, 2020

Song Premier: Pilgrims - Motherless Sons

Pilgrims is the new moniker of songwriter and composer Timothy Mann (formerly known as gdansk). This time around, Mann’s lyrics are more spiritually driven, his compositions more spacious, and his posture more vulnerable. “Motherless Sons”, the project’s debut single, sees Mann highlight his film-score sensibilities collide with the gentleness of worship and lament. The song runs the gamut of the beatitudes, highlighting God’s love for those the world deems unworthy. Mann had this to say about the song and project: I didn’t think I was going to do this again.… Continued →