Have you been feeling festive this year?
Have you been listening to Christmas music since before Thanksgiving, perhaps?
Maybe you've just been bit by the Christmas bug, like me?
Welllllll I want to share with you some great and new(!!!) Christmas/holiday tunes that I've been listening to while in the studio. Tell me what jams have been giving your inner elf something to dance about too!
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
By far my favorite new Christmas record this year has been provided by the lovely Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. This R&B and Soul album, named It's A Holiday Soul Party has a great vintage sound, like time traveling back to the 1960's. It's a little brassy and Sharon's voice is so filled with passion and joy. I think the first track on the album 8 Days (of Hanukkah) is a very fun way to set off this album, not only by giving some love to this Jewish holiday but it sounds like it beamed in from a School House Rock video! Seriously! Even the music video is perfectly retro. There are a couple classic Christmas tunes on this album as well, perfect for you to sing along with instantly. Another song I love for the narrative and non-traditional perspective is the second track called Ain't No Chimneys In The Projects. Hit that play button below and enjoy!
Charlie's Hand Movements
This little batch of songs from Charlie's Hand Movements is sort of flirting with a bit of an 80's flair. The first track Secret Santa has a techno robotic vibe that feels pretty current. The second track, It's Christmas Time (And I Don't Want To Wait) sounds very love struck and emo-ish circa early Death Cab for Cutie, but to me, I think it nails that melancholy feeling that accompanies the holiday season. You know the one, when you run head-first into the holiday season and then when it draws to a close it leaves you feeling a bit sad. The third song is a DELIGHTFUL cover of the Elton John song Step Into Christmas. The final piece is a spoken word selection being played over instrumentals, it's not holly or jolly, it's opinionated and rather funny.
This song, Merry Xmas (war isn't over), by the French band a Drift isn't your typical Christmas song by any means, though it's instrumentals would lead you to believe otherwise. It's as if it's a response to the John Lennon Christmas song Happy Xmas (war is over). The response is a little more… well… realistic. It packs a punch, but it goes down smoothly, like a really nice bourbon. And really during a time of year when people tend to reflect, it is important to take into consideration large scale issues. I appreciate that this song does just that! Have a listen to the track, which is posted below, and let me know your thoughts!
Bringing this list back to a little bit more of a poppy and happy note, try out this little set, entitled Dashing To The Snow is by Lindby, a band out of Fort Worth, Texas. The first song in the set features Leon Bridges, so there's that! These songs are festive to a T and a bit jazzy too. The only wild card song is the third song, Trepak (Russian Dance) from The Nutcracker. This playlist is a perfect little slice of Christmas joy! I think this list is perfect to play while decorating Christmas cookies or wrapping presents, IMO.