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My Favorite New Songs of 2023

My Favorite New Songs of 2023

I have wide-ranging tastes in music and will gladly listen to a host of different genres. Apple Music recently put together an accounting of all I listened to in 2023 and that got me thinking about the songs that resonated most. I eventually narrowed my favorites down to this list of 12—my 12 favorite songs of 2023 (with a few bonuses added in). I’ve included YouTube videos and a Spotify playlist if you’d like to give them a listen yourself. They are in no particular order.

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“One Day (Far Side of Our Sorrow)” by Folk Hymnal

This sweet song of comfort is from the album “Folk Hymnal” and features Tyson Matthews. “Today we weep / But one day we won’t / So wail and cry those tears today / And grieve, but not without hope / Hallelujah! there’s a far side of our sorrow / Sing hallelujah! There’s a hope beyond the grave.”

“He Will Keep Us” by Brook Hills Worship

This song, featuring Daniel Renstrom, is just one track in an extremely strong album. “If the Lord had not been on our side / If the Lord was silent when we cried / If He turned His face We’d be swept away / But He will not forsake his own / He will keep us now And forevermore / For His steadfast love Is forever sure / Even if hell may war We will trust the Lord / He will keep us now And forevermore.” I also really appreciate the songs “At the Glorious Cross” and “He’s Alive.”

“The Lord Is By My Side” by CityAlight

There was obviously going to be a song by CityAlight in this list, but I had to work hard to pick just one. In the end I settled on “The Lord Is By My Side.” “I know my Shepherd gives me peace / the Lord is by my side / for every day he walks with me / the Lord is by my side / the Lord is by my side / Forever by my side / His hope, his strength, his peace is mine / The Lord is by my side.” If it wasn’t this, it would be “He Calls Me Friend,” and if not that, “My God Is All I Need.”

“Love of Christ” by Carmel Worship

Carmel Worship sticks very close to the Scriptures in their songs, including this one which is based on Ephesians 3:18. “God would you give to us the strength / To comprehend together with all the saints / What is the breadth and length and height and depth / And to know the love of Christ.” I could as easily have chosen “Not Ashamed” which I appreciate every bit as much.

“Fear Not For I Am With You (Jeremiah 45)” by Rachel Wilhelm

Rachel Wilhelm released an entire album based on the book of Jeremiah. “Fear Not For I Am With You” is apparently based on Jeremiah 45, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually Jeremiah 46:27-28. Its content is largely drawn from the passage and it’s set to an upbeat and catchy melody. “Don’t be discouraged, I am here to save you / Though I seem so far away. / You were created for rest and restoration / Hear me and don’t be afraid.”

“All My Boast Is In Jesus” by Keith & Kristin Getty, Matt Boswell, and Matt Papa

This song by Getty Music features Keith and Kristyn Getty along with the songwriting duo of Matt Boswell & Matt Papa. “All my boast is in Jesus / All my hope is His love / And I will glory forever / In what the cross has done.”

“Eternal Christ” by Redeemer Hymnal

Eternal Christ” from Redeemer Hymnal features the band Sow & Tether and celebrates Christ as our eternal Savior. “Holy, Sovereign, Great / The begotten, the unmade / With mercy and might, He’s just and He’s right / eternal Christ.”

“Awake My Soul (Psalm 57)” by The Worship Initiative

This song from The Worship Initiative features Shane & Shane and Mac Hays and beautifully adapts Psalm 57. The rest of the album is well worth a listen, as is the recently-released “Christmas with the Worship Initiative.” “You are exalted oh God above the heavens / Come let your glory cover the earth / You have saved me from the roaring lion / Awake my soul to love you / Awake my soul to sing.”

“Praise The Lord (To God Be The Glory)” by Matthew West

This is a boisterous adaptation of the classic hymn “To God Be the Glory.” “Oh, praise the Lord / Let the earth hear His voice / Oh, praise the Lord / Let the people rejoice / Oh, come to the Father / Through Jesus His son / And give Him the glory / Great things He has done.”

“Like A Tree (Psalm 1)” by Caroline Cobb

Like a Tree” is a lovely adaptation of Psalm 1 by Caroline Cobb that doesn’t stray too far from the original psalm. “I wanna be like a tree by the river / Oh, plant me down by the deep, deep water / When the sun gets hot, my leaves won’t whither / Oh, plant me down like a tree by the river / Oh, plant me down by your deep deep water.” I also appreciate her mellow adaptation of Psalm 63 which she titles “Better Than Life.”

“Sing With All Your Heart” by Mission House

This song rejoices in our unity with God and prays that God would grant us unity with one another. “Rejoice, again, I say rejoice / Sinners, strangers, we’re welcomed in / Lift up your hands, lift up your voice / Sing with all your heart he calls you friend.”

“It’s Time” by The Rivers

I love the folk-style, vocal-driven treatment of this song. “I know it’s time to / Lay these troubles down / I’ve had enough / the burden is too much / I’ve got this song of / Deliverance in my heart / You lifted me / You set me free.”

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