As I near the end of my annual Christmas music binge, a few songs have stuck out. Check them out while the mood is right and the spirit’s up:
“Mvmt II: Begin and Never Cease” by The Oh Hellos, The Oh Hellos Family Christmas Album. You really ought to listen through the whole (short) album in one go, which is like one long medley, but the second movement’s ecstatic exuberance echoes Mumford & Sons mixed with Anathallo.
“Snow” by Sleeping At Last, Christmas Collection. O’Neal explains on a recent episodes of his podcast that it’s heavily inspired by It’s A Wonderful Life but also about the concept of home during the holidays.
“Silent Night” by Rosie Thomas, A Very Rosie Christmas. Rosie’s bouncy original “Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year” is always a fun listen, but don’t sleep on the rest of the album’s dreamy, riverine covers like this one. Great for a cozy nights staring at a twinkling Christmas tree.
“All I Need Is Love” by CeeLo Green & The Muppets. For successfully turning “Mahna Mahna” into a Christmas song.
“First Snowfall” by Over the Rhine, Blood Oranges in the Snow. Leave it to OTR to capture a different kind of Christmas, ramshackle and real, far from the Norman Rockwell scenes traditional Christmas songs paint.
“12 Days of Christmas” by Relient K, Let It Snow, Baby… Let It Reindeer. There aren’t a lot of great versions of this song because it’s such a pain to make 12 repetitive verses interesting. But Relient K pulls it off with verve.