I usually marinate in all of the “favorite music of last year” lists through the first few months of a new year. But once in a while, something goes off like a firework and gives you a rush that says, “Hey! It’s a whole new world!”

I can’t stop listening to The Lone Bellow. Their new album is playing on NPR’s First Listen right now, and the actual release date is January 22.

I saw Zach Williams take the stage at the end of IAM Encounter 11 in New York, and expected a warm and heartening concert to close out what had been an enjoyable arts conference. But instead, when Zach and his friends got started, it may as well have been Bruce Springsteen on stage. The place came to life with a huge, soulful sound that drew back people who had been headed for the doors. And then these conference-goers who had been sitting quietly and taking notes all weekend began tumbling down the aisles toward the stage and an impromptu dance party began. There was an unmistakeable sense that the Holy Spirit was in the room. The International Arts Movement had saved the best thing for last, and we all went out into the night on a high.

So I’m thrilled to see Zach’s new album getting attention, and their music being treated as “the next big thing.”

Pre-order their debut album here.

Get a taste of what they’re doing here:

SerialBox Presents: THE LONE BELLOW from SerialBox Presents on Vimeo.