Josh Garrels

A longtime staple at Cornerstone Festival, Garrels continues to mix his hybrid sound of soulful, spiritual rhythms with acoustic jams to great effect. His latest, Over Oceans, combines the sound with deep, emotional resonance that has Infuze saying, “I have never heard anything like it…prepare to be moved, indeed.”

Eric James & The New Century

The straightforward pop stylings of Eric James and his band are earning kudos from AOL, XM Radio and many online critics for their new The City Lights EP. Absolute Punk writes, “This is a very refreshing entry into the pop genre that will no doubt catch ears and probably make a few fans out of newcomers to the magic that Eric James & The New Century have weaved.”

What happens when electronica and synth-rock tendencies meet on a worship project? Magnificat. Two friends, Antonio Delgado and Thomas Shoemake, met at college in Texas and decided to combine their love for music with their love for God and create a diverse, eclectic worship project. Their full-length, O Precious Blood, is available on their website.

Maria Long

Maria Long’s debut release, Here With Me, reveals a more mature sound than most of her contemporaries, maybe due in part to the years she spent as a teacher before becoming a recording artist. Long’s vertical lyrics pair well with an aggressive acoustic/electric delivery that helps her find a niche among other female vocalists.

Sandra McCracken

Singer/songwriter Sandra McCracken may appear in the shadow of her more prominent husband, Derek Webb—but not for long. Her acclaimed album Gravity | Love released last fall, placing masterful storytelling within beautiful folk vehicles. This year saw the release of The Builder And The Architect, a hymns project recorded with Webb, focused on renewing anthems for the church.

John Mark McMillan

The Springsteen-influenced The Song Inside The Sounds of Breaking Down is wrought with emotion and grit, giving John Mark McMillan a quality most singer/songwriters spend a lifetime trying to achieve. HM Magazine notes that McMillan’s debut possesses “a patriotic sound that incorporates bold, stripped down blues with a voice reminiscent of Pete Yorn and a broken America.”

Paper Route

Former members of For All The Drifters team to create the stunning acoustic-meets-techno sound of Paper Route. Their impeccable musicianship has Nashville abuzz about the trio who only recently took their electronica on the road through a Midwest tour. Their initial EP is now available, but the guys are currently busy recording a full-length follow up.

A Road Less Traveled

Performing at camps, youth events and churches all over the nation, A Road Less Traveled brings a freshness to the student-oriented pop/rock scene on their latest, Rescue. After winning a Battle of the Bands contest in Texas, ARLT began sharing the stage alongside Delirious, Skillet and By The Tree at various festivals and concerts, and, this year, has enjoyed tour dates with Hyper Static Union and Building 429.