Friday, December 13, 2013

The Sounds of Christmas: Track One

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One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the music. I've been known to hum / whistle Christmas music all throughout the year (hopefully without annoying anyone too much) and each year when the weather gets cold I enjoy the opportunity to listen, hum, and whistle guilt free for a month or two.

In addition to my listening enjoyment, I always try and put together Christmas mix albums, though I've had limited success. A lot of that relates to what I was talking about last post: I dream big, and sputter out before I get started.

This year is a bit different, because I have the Google Music All Access thing going for me, and I can listen to any song I want to, more or less. The last couple weeks I've been looking at "best of" Christmas album lists for 2013 and trying to see if I like any of the new Christmas music. After all, I could have the same favorites every year (and I often do), but the point of making a yearly mix, for me, is to see what sort of new and interesting music might be out there that I can add.

My list isn't done yet, though there are about 25 songs on it at the moment. I need to go in and whittle it down a bit. All the same, some songs are sure things, and I thought I'd share.

The first song that is definitely on the list is Fairtytale of New York, performed by Gianni and Sarah (of Walk Off the Earth). I like the Pogues version okay, and there was a version on Late Night recently with Glen Hansard, Iron & Wine, Calexico, and others; I was hoping I'd like that version, but it was a little too busy.

This version by Gianni and Sarah is intimate, and it's funny, and I feel like it captures a lot of what the song is about. Walk off the Earth has itself been on the rise this year and people are starting to recognize them, which I think is great. They are talented musicians and their videos are always as impressive as their music. Check them out if you haven't already.