Listen to "Passing Away" from Cardiphonia's new Sacred Harp compilation

The distinctive and powerful tradition of shape note singing has seen something of a revival over the last decade or so - there are an increasing number of "sings" happening, but traces have shown up in a lot of other music, too. The amazing soundtrack for the Sacred Harp documentary Awake My Soul (which is sadly unavailable to stream or buy digitally) was loaded with indie artists covering standards, while Aimee Wilson's Unto Us the Sun album had a strong shape note influence. mewithoutYou's Aaron Weiss has hosted sings recently, and even Siftbam Sassafras's most recent Christmas record had a brief Sacred Harp tune.

Worship collective Cardiphonia recently contributed to that minor groundswell, releasing Hollow Square Hymnal on Ash Wednesday last week. It's a 22-track compilation featuring a number of different artists' interpretations of shape note standards. The songs' folk arrangements have a varying fidelity to the a cappella originals, but they're united by a stripped-down sensibility that's appropriate to the Lenten season. Listen to Alabama musician Wilder Adkins' take on the bracing "Passing Away (And must I be to judgement brought)" below. If you like it, be sure to check out the rest of the album on Bandcamp, and consider buying it - all purchases until March 11 go to alleviate the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.