Staff Voices: Celebrate Independence Day with a Worshipful Playlist
On each Fourth of July, citizens of the United States come together not just to witness breathtaking fireworks and indulge in delicious barbecues but to rejoice in the birth of their nation and express gratitude for the abundant blessings it provides. In honor of this momentous occasion, the dedicated team at NewReleaseToday has curated a collection of celebratory songs that encapsulate the spirit of worship and invite contemplation during your Independence Day festivities.
Anthem Lights – “God Gave Me Freedom”
Pop savants Anthem Lights have made a career out of covering, mashing, and remixing mainstream and Christian music. And they do it well. All without the support of any labeling system. With over 1.1 million monthly streams on Spotify, they continue strong into their second decade together.
Their new three-song EP, This Is Freedom, is a fantastic collection of original songs, something the guys rarely do anymore. The title track is about reaching the other side of wandering and coming back while discovering a newfound freedom that only God can give. It’s full of hope, peace, and meaning. Men, a government, or a nation don’t provide true independence. It’s a gift, not a right, given by God that gives us structure, safety, protection, and security. I’ll take that any day of the year. – Kevin McNeese
Danny Gokey – “My America (I Still Believe)”
There’s no doubt about it: America is a beautiful yet divided country. Many political and racial issues separate us, and the tension is evident. But despite its flaws, there is still so much good in the United States. Contemporary artist Danny Gokey recently released “My America (I Still Believe),” a song that perfectly captures this concept.
Danny sings, “This is the land I love, but we gotta heal up/Lady Liberty will always be a sign of hope unto the refugee/The immigrant can find an escape from oppression to a better place/I still believe in us/My America, our America.”
There’s tension, but there’s also hope. I praise God for those who died for our freedom but also pray for those still longing to be free. Let’s celebrate our independence and this place we call home this Independence Day. But let’s not forget those still striving for freedom. I pray that one day, we can each find unity. – Grace Chaves
UPPERROOM (feat. Abbie Gamboa) – “Mountain Air”
Musician Abbie Gamboa has been a prominent UPPERROOM worship group community member for a significant period. Only a few seconds of listening to her newest solo project explain why. Her heart is entirely devoted to the Lord, and peace seeps through each word she sings. This melody transported me to my favorite place in the U.S., a vague nowhere in the Great Smoky Mountains, a beautiful sight to see along the Tennessee–North Carolina border. It’s here where I finally feel like I can breathe clearly, as paradoxical as that may be to the ever-present fog. The smells are crisper, and the views are clearer; life feels fresh. As I rest in this simplicity, my thoughts never fail to turn to God, the creator of it all.
I’m grateful to my country for preserving national treasures such as this breathtaking landmark. Enjoy the simple moments in life and publicly thank God for the freedom you should never take for granted. Breathe in some mountain air and remember the natural wonder of God, who created it all. Happy Independence Day. – Selena Schulz
White Heart – “Independence Day”
A Wayback classic. While the song title references the holiday celebrating America’s freedom, “Independence Day” explores a much deeper space. The veteran Christian rock band’s rock anthem explores freedom’s true meaning. In our modern day, we tend to view freedom as being able to do whatever we want. But this song reminds us that true freedom comes from giving ourselves to Christ entirely. This paradox is true because our inclinations can hold us captive, but when we surrender everything to Christ, we experience true freedom. This a timeless message from a classic act. – JJ Francesco
HGHTS (feat. SOFYKA) – “Set Me Free”
HGHTS is a skilled producer who started doing remixes for indie artists in 2018. His remixes and production gained him a solid fanbase in the coming years before he eventually signed to DREAM Label Group. HGHTS is gradually releasing new singles every few weeks in preparation for the release of his debut album in July.
One of his recent songs, “Set Me Free,” featuring new pop artist SOFYKA, blew me away. Both artists shine in the song’s pop/electronic elements, making it a perfect summer song for this year. Its message also fits well with an Independence Day theme. Our freedom is more than just because of Jesus; it’s only found in Him. Understanding that we have freedom because of Him is one thing, but it’s even more meaningful to realize that He is present with us, making our freedom possible. Every trial we face doesn’t define us because God continuously invites us to embrace His love, peace, hope, and joy that His freedom has already given us.
Knowing this love that God has for me has helped me not to be afraid or worried about the future. It’s given me the courage to take each day one step at a time and to dance through life in freedom because I know He’s holding onto me. As we express gratitude to God for the freedom we enjoy in our country, let us also embrace the liberty that His love has bestowed upon us by living our lives in wonder and appreciating the beauty of what freedom looks like. – Bradden Ford
Newsboys – “I Speak Jesus”
When I listen to the contemporary band Newsboys‘ worship song, “I Speak Jesus,” I think of someone using their freedom to advocate the freedom found in Jesus Christ. People advocate for freedom for many reasons. Some advocate for freedom, using Jesus’s message of truth to support their cause. This write-up isn’t meant to point out the rights and wrongs of those using scripture to raise awareness. But it is a challenge to those who do so to ensure that what and how they’re advocating aligns with scripture. Acts 20:30 (ESV) gives its message point blank: “And from among your own will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
Check your motivation. If you’re out to prove a point instead of spreading God’s message in love, there’s a problem. 1 Peter 1:22 (ESV) says: “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” This means lovingly rebuking your brother instead of slapping him in the head with the truth. Causing controversy and division among your brethren does the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve for your cause: unity. All controversy does is reinforce a broken nation that Christianity isn’t a viable option for salvation. Christianity isn’t safe but an antagonist.
You and I can get into scripture wars on whose point is correct. I’m saying to use God’s word to spread Jesus’ love, grace, and truth. You might want to check your motives and heart if you’re doing more than that. – Paul Phillips
Assembled from the four corners of North America and many other corners in between, the NRTeam comprises staffers whose energy is equally dispersed towards loving and writing about the music they love.