Lamentations: Simple Songs of Lament and Hope, Vol. 1

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Bifrost Arts Music is a group, ecumenical in focus, that mines the history of sacred music in search of lost treasures and seeks to introduce new hymnodies. In that role they produce music for church worship and make related recordings. The organization, founded by Isaac Wardell and Joey Pensa, is currently housed at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Va. Lamentations: Simple Songs of Lament and Hope, Vol. 1 was released last year.

This digital album of hymns and originals adds a fourth resource to their growing discography. Using Wardell’s home equipment, all of the songs were recorded in varied makeshift locations from late 2015 to 2016. The album comes across as a group of intimate friends who have gathered together to help the church learn to lament like Jesus.

Outstanding tracks on the new release, all penned by different composers, are “Rise Up” and “In Labor All Creation Groans.” Worth the price of the record alone is “Wisdom and Grace,” featuring words and music by noted independent singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken: “Teach us to number our days/That we may apply our hearts to Your ways/Teach us to number our days/ with wisdom and grace.” This record shows the beauty of independent, theologically informed, Christian worship music in a popular evangelical culture awash in contemporary Christian music. (Bifrost Arts Music)