I got married in November, which means I’ve been celebrating my way through the last few weeks instead of listening to new Christmas music. This means that instead of meaningful reviews, I have a large list of things that you and I should both listen to. I regret nothing. ONWARD!
The Good Shepherd Band, which released a beautiful Christmas album in 2011, are back with a new one entitled All the Bells Shall Ring. If it’s anything like the opener “O Come Let Us Adore Him” (starting off with an Advent hymn; I approve) and the last album, we’re in for big, church-style hymns in oft-triumphant arrangements. Wonderful!
Quirky, reverb-heavy indie-pop band SUNBEARS! offer up a 10-minute EP of Christmas music. It’s sure to be as thoroughly enthusiastic as its name: SUNBEARS! Do CHRISTMAS!
Vintage-style acoustic duo The Singer and the Songwriter are dropping 12 songs (in video form!) for the 12 Days of Christmas. Sounds lovely! Check it at their YouTube.
For those who like a little more punk rock in their Christmas tunes, Small Bear Records has released Never Mind the Baubles, Here’s The Small Bear. Need I say more?
Kris Orlowski caps a banner year with the original holiday tune “Is This Christmas” in his signature baritone voice and easygoing acoustic style.
James Apollo also had a big year, with Angelorum being a great release. His offering, “Ho Ho, Ho Hum,” is one for the (classy, Scotch-drinking) Scrooges out there.
SHEL is an acoustic-music band of four sisters, and this version of “Sleigh Ride” is about as cute as can be. The video is also lovely.
1. “Bethlehem (feat. Joan as Policewoman)” – Jack Henderson. Because everyone needs a Tom Waits-ian original Christmas ballad duet.
2. “Fairy Christmas Day” – Junkie Thrown. A pensive, beautiful tune decrying the sad paradoxes of Christmas.
3. “Little Angel” – The Lost Brothers. Think “brothers” in the pristine, crooning, ’50s-style duet meaning.
4. “Christmas at the Zoo” – Sam Joole. As an Oklahoman, I’m categorically obliged to post any Flaming Lips covers. This one is pretty charming and cheerful.
5. “Stay Another Day” – pjaro. Experimental rock/emo/indie bands write Christmas songs too. This one has lots of distorted guitars and yelling, as one does.