Premier Christian Radio daytime host Josh Carter looks back at his favourite tracks from 2023 and gives you his recommendations for starting your new year the right way

2023 Songs

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I get to listen to a lot of Christian music in my role as a presenter on Premier Christian Radio and Premier Praise and it never ceases to amaze me how much inspired music is released each year.

2023 didn’t disappoint with both new artists and seasoned playlist regulars producing some amazing tracks. Here are ten of my favourites that I’ve had on repeat…

‘Holy forever’ by Chris Tomlin

Co-written with the Johnsons at Bethel and Phil Wickham, this was the first single from Chris Tomlin’s album Always. The song references Revelation 4, inviting us to be part of the unending and eternal worship of God joining in with the angels. No wonder it has been such a popular choice with worship leaders and congregations up and down the country on a Sunday morning.

‘Gratitude’ by Brandon Lake

Although released as a single in 2022 (from his 2020 album House of Miracles) 2023 saw this song shoot into the Christian consciousness when it won Best Worship Recorded Song of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards. It’s Brandon’s honest and vulnerable lyrics that make it instantly relatable.

‘Grateful for’ by Natalie Layne

This is my favourite track from Natalie’s six-track breakthrough EP Amen. She’s been on the music scene since 2020, working with the likes of Jeremy Camp, Chris Tomlin and We The Kingdom, but 2023 saw her build on her growing momentum, serving up six original songs. Check out the title track too - you will soon be shouting “Amen!”

‘In Jesus name (God of possible)’ by Katy Nichole

Katy is my favourite breakthrough artist of 2023, storming onto the Christian music scene with her debut album Jesus Changed my Life. ‘In Jesus name’ is the opening track, a humble prayerful song asking Jesus to impact the lives of those around her. It resonated with me the first time I heard it and, with over 50 million plays on YouTube, it would seem I’m not alone.

‘Rebel’ by Anne Wilson

Time to get your Country on with this fun, upbeat and catchy track from Anne Wilson, who is one of my favourite country artists. On release of this track she said: “I hope when people hear these songs that they’ll feel what I feel. Heart, hope, Jesus, strength, faith and the courage to move forward even if the path ahead is uncharted.”

‘Thank God I do’ by Lauren Daigle

Many were waiting with eager anticipation for Lauren Daigle’s eponymous 2023 album and it did not disappoint. The standout track has to be ‘Thank God I do’, a typical Daigle-sounding song full of honesty and truth – and with faultless vocals from arguably the standout female Christian artist of this generation.

‘Faithfully’ by TobyMac

This hard-hitting song was released by the former DCTalk frontman in 2023. The song is about God’s faithfulness following the death of Toby’s son to an accidental drug overdose. “It’s been a long year. It almost took me down, I swear,” he sings in the opening line: “But you were there faithfully”. Well worth a listen if you like your music honest and raw.

‘What are we waiting for?’ by For King and Country

The duo from down-under released this rousing track with a titled borrowed from their most recent album. When asked about the many questions posed in the song, the brothers responded: “So often we deal in statements — about ourselves, about God, about others. And yet, if you look at Jesus’ life, he often dealt in questions.”

‘Psalm 23’ by Phil Wickham

Singer-songwriter and worship leader Phil Wickham released his tenth studio album I Believe, and it is as full of great songs as we have come to expect. The song that stopped me in my tracks is his duet with Tiffany Hudson; the prayerful and atmospheric ‘Psalm 23’. There have, of course, been many versions of this psalm recorded over the years, but this one affected me deeply.

‘Grave robber’ by Crowder

Air-guitars at the ready for this rocky number from Crowder: “I got stolen by the grave robber / Picked me up from that rock bottom / Washed my soul in that holy water / Brought me back to life / One more stone rolled away / One more sinner been saved by grace / This dead man, he ain’t dead no longer / All because of that grave robber”. Amen to that!

Daytime with Josh Carter is every weekday at 2pm on Premier Christian Radio. Listen to Josh present his top ten songs of 2023