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Music & Culture

Finding Faith in Music: The Civil Wars

We talk about Christian artists a lot here at Project Inspired. With so many quality acts out there serving God with the gift of music, it’s one of our favorite things to write about. We want to start highlighting other acts who aren’t technically Christian artists, but either have members who are Christian or who sing about spirituality. Our hope is that with these posts, you can learn about some new music you might not have otherwise heard of!

PI Girls, are you familiar with The Civil Wars? The power duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White blends a gritty country rock sound with overtly spiritual lyrics that offer the ups and downs of living a life for Christ. Williams is a very accomplished Christian singer who received 11 Dove Award nominations for her solo albums in the early 2000s. In 2008 she formed The Civil Wars with White.

The band had major success right away with their smash hit “Barton Hollow” and released the single “Safe & Sound” with Taylor Swift for the film The Hunger Games. The band released their newest album, The Civil Wars, in August, which features songs such as “From This Valley.” Take a look at some of the song’s lyrics:

Oh the outcast dreams of acceptance

Just to find pure love’s embrace

Like an orphan longs for its mother

May you hold me in your grace

Listen to “From This Valley” here:

The very intense song “Devil’s Backbone” is about a Christian woman who falls for a man not of God, and prays to God to give him to her rather than live life alone.

Oh Lord, Oh Lord, what do I do?

I’ve fallen for someone who’s nothing like you

He’s raised on the edge of the devil’s backbone

Listen to “Devil’s Backbone” (Note: This song is a little dark and may not be suitable for younger listeners!)

The band’s music may be a bit dark at times, but with powerful lyrics about heartache and crying out to God, we can see why. They aren’t for everyone…perhaps our older Project Inspired girls will really dig these guys most.

We HIGHLY suggest you check out The Civil Wars for some new music to add to your fall Spotify playlist today!

PI Girls, are you familiar with The Civil Wars? What do you think of their music?

Image: Creative Commons + Project Inspired


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  1. Laura King

    Posted by Laura King on October 4, 2013 at 10:49

    DAAHH! I love the Civil Wars!! 😀 I think the Christian music industry needs to pay more attention to them, though… You never hear them on Christian radio. People like them and Mike Mains and the Branched NEED to be played on Christian radio.

  2. SlinkyKitty88

    Posted by SlinkyKitty88 on September 21, 2013 at 23:38

    Aren’t they broken up?

    • Laura King

      Posted by Laura King on October 10, 2013 at 20:02

      No they’re coming out with a new album soon! 😀 I think they had for a little while but they’re back together again thankfully!

  3. hannah1997

    Posted by hannah1997 on September 21, 2013 at 17:49

    I absolutely love this band! And all the more now!! 🙂

  4. anilewis28

    Posted by anilewis28 on September 21, 2013 at 12:52

    This is so interesting!!! I had no idea that they were a christian band!! This past June I danced my first lyrical solo to “Safe and Sound” and i love that i got to dance to their song/with Taylor Swift. Since then i have been obsessed with their music! With dance, i realized how dance is one of the gifts God has blessed me with! Someday I wish to open up a Christian dance studio and have that be my ministry and lead other people with a similar interest (dance) to the Lord. Thank you for posting this !! <3

  5. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on September 20, 2013 at 14:39

    WOW! Both of those songs were incredible! I love their voices together! Thanks for creating this post, PI!

  6. MissMeggles

    Posted by MissMeggles on September 18, 2013 at 17:29

    I’m absolutely in love with The Civil Wars’ music, and squealed when I saw this post about them. I have yet to buy their new album, but I’ve listened to it and can’t get over it. Thank you so much for writing this! They’re my favorite band. Thank you again and God bless! <3

  7. Angiefd

    Posted by Angiefd on September 18, 2013 at 11:03

    I am very familiar with The Civil Wars… When I heard From This Valley the first time I instantly bought. I listen to it almost daily. They are really unique and talented. 🙂

  8. Caitlin4Christ

    Posted by Caitlin4Christ on September 18, 2013 at 07:16

    The Civil Wars are my faves!!! Love their music!!

  9. middleOFfive

    Posted by middleOFfive on September 17, 2013 at 17:27

    Haha! Same here Connie! But I do think the song had some questionable lyrics on it…

  10. awksjesusfreak

    Posted by awksjesusfreak on September 17, 2013 at 14:28

    I love them oh, so much. It made me wanna scream for joy when they sang “Safe and Sound” with TSwift. I’m not a fan of Taylor, but it was a great song. 😀

  11. goatwrangler

    Posted by goatwrangler on September 17, 2013 at 14:19

    Oh man, just listened to From This Valley. I’m looking up the chords for it now. 😉

  12. goatwrangler

    Posted by goatwrangler on September 17, 2013 at 14:12

    The Devil’s Backbone is really good, but if I listen to it again, I’ll start singing it, and that’s not exactly something you want to find yourself saying. Besides, my parents would flip if they found me listening to it. Too bad. Good music.

  13. AllisonGrace

    Posted by AllisonGrace on September 17, 2013 at 13:46

    What?! I didn’t know Joy Williams was in The Civil Wars! She was my first CD ever 🙂 love them!