I admit it, I'm a bit of a Christmas freak. I'm one of those dorks that gets really excited about silly things like parades, peppermint treats and holiday drinks at Starbucks. And it's hitting me hard this year - as soon as November 1st rolled around, the sugarplums started dancing through my brain and they only spin faster with every passing week.
One of my favourite things about the holidays is Christmas music! There is something just so comforting about Christmas songs, am I right? They are so timeless - they harken back to the past but can also be interpreted in so many different, fun ways they continue to also be modern in an odd way.
It is sort of a give-in nowadays that any artist who has sold any respectable number of records has to make a Christmas album, which is great and all, but lets be honest this means that many of them are warmed over cheese-casserole - booooring and predictable.
However, I recently downloaded a couple of albums that are anything but boring. They both have a really retro, vintage feel - one more folky and one more swingy/jazzy - and feature singers with super-rich, warm voices that manage to be delightfully 'crackly' and soft at the same time. Both contain some of the most recognizable Christmas tunes ever sung, but they also feature a few that I have never heard before. I have been lucky enough to see one of them in concert here in Halifax (she lives here in fact!) and the other stars in one of my new favourite tv shows (it seriously cracks me up to the point of snorting every week).
#1 A Very She & Him Christmas
This is the one with the more "folky"sound I described before - there is a lot of acoustic guitar and ukulele, which is awesome! It's a little bit vintage country, a little bit Hawaiian luau and I kind of like that! It feels very June Carter and Johnny Cash Christmas to me. Most of the songs on this album have a quieter more relaxed feeling, perfect for listening to while sitting in front of a fire with a hot toddy.
*On a completely unrelated note, I want to steal Zooey D's hair - as noted in my YKYLF post here. Second completely unrelated note - are you watching New Girl yet? If not, you need to do that, like, yesterday!*
Every time I listen to this song it ends up stuck in my head all. day. long. You've been warned.
#2 It Snowed, Meaghan Smith
Meaghan is a singer originally from Ontario but now calls Halifax home - I went to see her perform with Symphony Nova Scotia earlier this year and fell in love with her 40's style voice and music. Her songs have this great old-timey swing feel to them - lots of horn. They make you want to boogie. Her Christmas album has a couple of original songs (one that is really not Christmasey at all in fact, which is an odd addition, but kind of refreshing at the same time). I can't wait to put this on while we put up the tree and decorate at my mom's on Saturday.
I think Christmas Kiss is my favourite so far - SO ADORABLE! Alas, I am not able to find it online anywhere (although you can listen to samples here), so you will have to settle for Silver Bells (which sounds like a pretty good compromise to me!). *P.S. I want to steal her outfit from this video*
For the next 6 weeks, it's all Christmas songs all the time, baby! Just not Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time - god, that song's annoying.