Wake Up – Available Now

Wake Up is out now.

A five track worship EP marinated in dance, pop and rock with some ambient and experimental seasoning, for anyone tired of the same old worship music sandwich.

Available now to order from Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, Play and other stores.

Tracks included are:

  • Wake Up
  • Whom The Son Sets Free
  • When The Waters Rise
  • Come To The River
  • Don’t Sleep

Wake Up has already received some great reviews and recommendations including these:

This EP is radically different from anything Jonny has released previously. It blends elements of dance, pop and rock music to provide something really unique – and it works amazingly…I love how Jonny has in a short space of time changed his whole sound. This proves he is a versatile songwriter and producer. I am so impressed with this EP and I can’t stop telling people about it. This is a dance electronic inspired piece of wonderful worship music.  Full review from louderthanthemusic.com

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Jonny Shepherd is back with dynamic worship music, this time in a whole new musical vein – electronic, euro-pop sounds with meaningful lyrics and heartfelt passion for God. From the artwork to the guitar sampling to the sweeping musical landscapes, the Wake Up EP can serve as a positive intro to worshippers to the buzzing and popping sounds of the digital age while meeting God on your knees…or dancing. I love it! Ken Steorts, President of Visible Music College, Founding Guitarist of Skillet

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Jonny consistently inspires me. In a crowded industry, and as an independent artist, he continually finds a way to release vibrant music with genuine passion and sonic integrity. Jonny’s latest release ‘Wake Up’ is both innovative and invigorating. The heart of this EP is rooted in worship, but covers fresh and contemporary musical ground. Jonny is a friend, an inspiration, a pioneer, and someone you need to check out!  Ryan Baker-Barnes, Worship Pastor at Revival Fires Dudley

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A different direction for Jonny, Electronica worship music, well worth checking out.  Contemporary sounds and a brave step, think Owl City and William Orbit with worshipful lyrics.  Wake Up, breaks the walls of the contemporary worship music genre.  Ian Yates, Elim Sound
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All tracks written, recorded and produced by Jonny Shepherd.  Additional production and mixing by Matt Cotterill.  With thanks to Adam Collins.  Spoken word by Alan Scotland.

 

What’s The Deal With “Crown of Praise”?

Crown of Praise started with the small idea of releasing small “chapters” of music. Where recording a whole album can be prohibitive because of the costs involved, I’ve decided to explore releasing music in smaller bite size chunks. Crown of Praise will be the first in a series of “chapters” over the coming months.  Here’s a little detail about the project…

I have loved making Crown of Praise.  I have challenged myself lyrically and musically to be even more creative than I have been before. The emotive sounds of the orchestral elements floating over the piano and acoustic guitars really moves me into worship, and I really hope that it helps you in your personal worship times too.

This first little ‘chapter’ of planned EP’s contains two brand new songs, a new recording of an old song called My Reason and an instrumental.

Praise You For The Blood is a song where I wanted to capture both the reflective nature of acknowledging our sin and shortcomings before God, and the celebratory nature of rejoicing in the grace we recieve.  The song explodes half way in with joy, and seems a wonderful way to open the EP!

My Reason is a number of years old, and I have led with this song many times.  After being pushed by my church leader to re-record the track, I decided to try a new take on it, changing the time signature of the song, chord structure and ambience completely compared to the ‘rock’ approach I had previously used.  I think it works brilliant with the piano track laid down by David Skoppek, and the song still moves me into worship all these years later!

Crown of Praise contains some of my favourite lyrics and thematically follows My Reason with an understanding of our very lives purpose is in the worship of God.

Finally, the instrumental When We See Him finishes the EP allowing the music to inspire your worship rather than words.  The simple repeating melody line throws all sorts of imagery in my head that…well it’s better you just take a listen and interpret it for yourself!

I am on a faith journey where I don’t have a regular job, but I believe God is calling me to write and record worship music for the Church and I want to be faithful in that.  Often money is a barrier in doing what we want to do, and certainly recording music can be a very expensive venture, that can take months or even years to break even on costs.  But I guess that is the nature of a ‘faith journey’ – there has to be an element of the impossible to allow you to put your faith in higher powers.

So please pray for me as I journey – for melodies and lyrics that inspire and encourage the Church…and for resources to do what I believe God is calling me to do. I hope you enjoy this little project and join me in crowning Jesus with your worship.  Download here.

I offer you this crown of praise, formed of my heart, my life, my days
'Surrender' fashions precious jewels and 'sacrifice' the gold for you
And here my alabaster jar, where lie the treasures of my heart
When 'gratitude's' too weak a form, I pour myself, my life, my all

The words of man cannot convey, my debt of love, my breadth of praise
For every hymn and melody, but a token of the love I bring
From time where cells began to form, you watched within my mothers womb
And reason you composed my frame, that I may live to raise your name

I do nor fear the day I die, for you my God are by my side
And final breath won't cease my song, for this symphony has just begun

All blessing, all honour is yours, forever and ever amen
All glory, all power is yours, forever and ever amen

Behind The Song – At The Foot Of The…

At The Foot Of The CrossSometimes I am so in despair over my own fallibility. My complete failure to live a life worthy of who God has called me to be.

“Where would I be, how could I stand, if your grace had not found me?”…read the lyrics…

I mean, think about it for a minute, where would you actually be right now if it wasn’t for Gods’ grace intervening, renewing and rebirthing you into a new creation? Read more “Behind The Song – At The Foot Of The Cross”

Behind The Song – Even When (You Are Here)

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A couple of years back me and my wife took a sabbatical break from serving in our church.  Time out from leading worship, and all the others things we were involved with.  It was a much needed time for God to break us down, in order to build us up again.  I also took a long break from writing, but on returning to church, this was the song that echoed part of the journey we had been on.

The key lyrics for me are ‘You are always faithful, even when I’m faithless’ and the lines that talk about Gods steady hand. Read more “Behind The Song – Even When (You Are Here)”

Behind The Song – You Are The Centre

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The Sun & The Satellites was a phrase God gave me in a dream.  That really doesn’t happen to me very often!  Even before the songs were all written, I sensed this phrase was to be the title of the album.

To me, it conveys the need to keep Jesus at the centre of our lives, and we, as his satellites, to always stay in orbit around him.

You Are The Centre was an attempt to capture the heart of that theme.  Through early re-writes, this was a song that never quite settled down, even to the point of re-writing lyrics in the hours before recording.  Chord changes, styles, lyrics, tempo were all played around with. Read more “Behind The Song – You Are The Centre”

Behind The Song – Sing Sing Sing

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For some reason, I always try and write songs that have some sort of anthemic feel to them.   Back in the 90’s my most memorable experiences in worship were getting to know songs like Did You Feel The Mountain Tremble? and Obsession by Delirious – the epic numbers that journeyed through intimate moments to get to storming choruses that really moved me.

Sing Sing Sing, in part tries to imitate some of that feeling – a long atmospheric intro, moving to quiet verses, to a big chorus.  I love the ‘bigness’ of the song. Read more “Behind The Song – Sing Sing Sing”

New Day – Song by Song

New Day AlbumA bit of background on each song from the New Day album…

Take My Life

I always loved the old hymn by Frances R. Havergal, and sort of stumbled over this version almost by accident. I was just messing around with a simple chord structure on the piano (I don’t really play, I just make it up…!) and started singing the words. The new verses fell into place pretty quickly and the whole thing just felt right. In fact you may not know but this is one of 2 songs on the album, which the band didn’t actually play on (the other is The Call). The whole track came together over about two days, working with some loops and synth sounds, and tieing it up with that cool bass line. I had really wanted something fresh and original to start the album off, and I think this works well. Read more “New Day – Song by Song”