For many, myself included, the time before December and after Halloween are filled with dread. No matter how good natured we attempt to be, the early push of Christmas music brings out the Grinch in us. Granted, there are not many good Thanksgiving songs to fill our airwaves, but still, this is obscenely too early (#hottake). At Ear to the Ground Music, we receive a lot of Holiday music during this time and while it would be easy for us to entrench ourselves deeper into our Joy Division records and not re-emerge until after the New Year, this year we vow to be different.
We will be presenting some Holiday standards and originals this year in our humble attempt to bring people together. We hope you can, for a time, forget who the President is (deep sigh) and embrace a spirit of wonder within this most “magical” of times. If these tunes don’t generate such positivity (or snarky joy) within the deep recesses of your battered soul, Ian Curtis will surely be there waiting for you.
Matt Nathanson – “Christmas, (Baby Please Come Home)”
This one is for those who dig the traditional classics in a modern voice. Nathanson is a established pop artist and on his holiday rendition, he shines expectedly. From the kids reciting verse in the beginning, to his pleading for a lover to come back, this one will get you in the spirit of longing and holiday fun. Look for another cover soon by the beloved songwriter.
David Vaters – “Christmas Eve Forever”
Vaters is an under the radar songwriter who wears his seasoned career on his sleeve. Previously praised by Huffington Post and CCM publications, the artist is a straightforward and respected artist who has worked with some of the best. On his original Christmas track, the musicianship is solid and his grizzled vocals carry the seasonal lyrics like a sleigh into the cold December night. Some may call this track nostalgic or overly sentimental, but the optimistic will call it a perfect Christmas blend.
Jule Vera – “Blue Christmas”
Our guilty holiday pleasure is the classic from Elvis. Maybe it is the darker part of our soul or it’s genuine chilly winter vibe. Regardless, it doesn’t take much for us to cover this track every time we see it covered. With this version by the act Jule Vera, we see a modern take without unnecessary extravagance or ego. The female vocals play well with the electro pop style. Her voice is both seductive and assured while the mix is spot on. The result is a blue track that burns brightly.
*Still not in the holiday spirit? Check out this 40th Anniversary LP of Unknown Pleasures and be merry responsibly.