For the third consecutive week, Ireland-based worship band Bluetree took the top position on the Christian Retail and Praise & Worship charts with its debut U.S. album God Of This City.
The album also moved up seven slots to land at No. 106 on the Billboard Top 200.
"Christian retailers have really caught the vision for Bluetree and have effectively helped launch a new breakout band," says Greg Lucid, CEO of Bluetree's label, Lucid Artist.
"The support for Bluetree by music fans at Christian retailers across the nation has been overwhelming," he adds.
Bluetree's music style has been described as a convergence of worship, rock, and technology that crosses Chris Tomlin, Delirious? and the David Crowder Band with "the alternative aura of Oasis," as ChristianMusicToday.com put it.
For the four-man band from Belfast, Ireland, however, God Of This City is more than a collection of powerful songs; it is a personal story.
The song "Each Day," for example, was crafted by lead vocalist/guitarist Aaron Boyd in response to finding out his daughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis not long after birth.
"When I first heard the news, I freaked out. I didn't even know what cystic fibrosis was," Boyd recalls. "This thing just rocks your world because you really begin to look at what you believe."
Though Boyd knew that God is good and loving, he admits that he struggled. But as he experienced through that time, Boyd hopes listeners of the song will feel how hope is not necessarily dictated by circumstance.
"You never leave me alone/Even when storms cloud my way/And I can't see the breaking day/You never leave me alone," Boyd sings in "Each Day."
Also written during a dark time – or, more correctly, place – was the band's hit song "God Of This City."
During a mission trip in Pattaya, Thailand, the band had performed at a club which doubled as a brothel in Pattaya's Red Light district.
"I can still remember those girls who were being sold on the street whenever I sing these words [from 'God Of This City']," Boyd says. "Their lives are caught up in so much pain, but I'm convinced that they've got a better song to sing, I'm convinced that there's glory and praise that can shine from their hearts and lives."
The hit song, written during the trip and completed not long after, has already been covered by worship leader Chris Tomlin on two albums and became the name and theme for the latest project and world tour of the Passion movement led by Louie Giglio.
Today, "God Of This City" is being sung in church services around the globe and this week received another R&R Most Added nod, landing at No. 30 on the R&R AC Christian Monitor chart and climbing.
The song also concluded a recent worship pastor seminar organized by the Willow Creek Association.
To celebrate God Of This City's third consecutive week as the No. 1 best selling project, Bluetree is allowing music fans to download an MP3 version of the song "Each Day" for free at http://www.givmusic.com/bluetree. The free download will only be available for a limited time, however.