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Mainstream Music with a Religious Message: Mumford and Sons, Kings of Leon, Sufjan Stevens, The Civil Wars, Kendrick Lamar

( [email protected] ) Jan 29, 2014 05:10 PM EST

With the Grammys just last week, the world is abuzz with music. Who are the artists headlining the industry? What voices are representing this new generation? Ultimately, what message are they sending?

There will always be plenty of provocative musicians. This year alone Miley Cyrus provided a jaw-dropping VMA performance leaving audiences aghast at her foam finger. Even at the Grammys this past Sunday, parents were angry at Beyonce's opening "Drunk on Love." They took to Twitter and other social media platforms slamming her actions as slutty and inappropriate for children.

Amidst all of the risqué elements of the music industry, there rise a handful of artists with religious significance. You don't have to turn to a Christian radio station to find tunes that provide these types of lyrics. Below are five bands that remain Mainstream with a religious message.

Mumford and Sons

The English rock folk band took home album of the year at the Grammys in 2013 for "Babel." They've found immense success across the US and UK charts and continue to gain fans. Many of their lyrics possess a spiritual theme. In "I Will Wait" they sing, "Raise my hands/Paint my spirit gold/And bow my head/Keep my heart slow." Another song, "Below My Feet," mentions Christ, "And I was still/I was under your spell/When I was told by Jesus all was well/So all must be well."


Mumford and Sons
Mumford and Sons (Adriana M. Barraza/WENN)

Kings of Leon

Also finding initial success in the UK, the band had nine Top 40 singles. Only By the Night was released in 2008 and became their fist Platinum-selling album in the US. Some of their most famous songs include "Sex on Fire" and "Use Somebody" but many others posses lyrics about God. The three Followill brothers grew up with a father who was a United Pentecostal Church preacher. Their background informs songs like "Crawl." "The rat and the fly/They're searchin' for an alibi/As we wait the wrath/They never went to Sunday mass."


Kings of Leon
This Sept. 5, 2013 file photo shows members of Kings of Leon, from left, Jared Followill, Caleb Followill, Nathan Followill and Matthew Followill in Nashville.

Sufjan Stevens

The more obvious member of the bunch, Stevens writes lyrics that are clearly expressions of his journey as a Christian. He is also open about his faith. Stevens even went as far to make two Christmas albums, Songs for Christmas and Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas that total 100 songs. His most overtly spiritual album is Seven Swans. Stevens references stories from the Old Testament and well as scriptures from Matthew, Luke and Isaiah.

The Civil Wars

After their collaboration with Taylor Swift on "Safe and Sound," the country folk duo rose to stardom and took home Grammys in 2012 for Best Country dup/Group Performance and Best Folk Album. Their songs have appeared on shows like Nashville, The Vampire Diaries and Grey's Anatomy. Comprised of John Paul White and Joy Williams, the band blends bluegrass with religious symbolism. Williams first started as a Christian pop singer, recording three Contemporary Christian albums.

Kendrick Lamar

Lamar's performance at the Grammys this year alongside Imagine Dragons proves the kid from Compton is on the rise. His album good kid, m.A.A.d. city led him onto the Yeezzus tour with Kanye West. Lamar has fought to gain a voice among other West Coast rappers and he's written multiple songs that grapple with religion. His song "Faith" features, "I found myself losing focus at a Sunday service/ Embarrassed so I started questioning God, what is my purpose?" Although his album is controversial, possessing explicit content, he is rumored to have re-dedicated himself to Christ during the tour.  

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar