Tis the season for Christmas music (oh yes it is) so our post this week is all about sharing some old and new favourite Christmas songs. Christmas albums don’t usually lend themselves to new music, perhaps because tradition is everything at this time of year and nostalgia reigns. However, we at Angry Baby have had a look through our version of the Christmas present cupboard and chosen a few tracks from a few artists, some of which may be familiar to Angry Baby readers.
If you like traditional carols, then Michael Boe and Sean Ashmore’s take on ‘O Holy Night’ will be to your liking; the combination of French and English makes it stand out from other, more familiar versions and the simplicity of Sean’s arrangement enhances the pure vocals from Michael. Beth Ford’s ‘Silent Night’ has the same traditional yuletide sound. Beth’s voice, which is always described as ‘hauntingly beautiful’ and ‘mesmerising’ brings a whole new expression to this traditional carol. Meanwhile, Gareth Malone’s own composition, ‘A Child Is Born’, Malone’s very first composition, with its traditional arrangement makes an excellent addition to the already full band of Christmas carols.
Before you read on, Beth Ford is giving a FREE download of “Silent Night”, to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
If you want a traditional song updated, then take a look at what Rachael Sage does with her cover of the classic ‘Joy To The World’. Weaving together her proven sounds of folk, pop, and jazz, Rachael brings new life to such a joyful song. As this time of year is also the time to celebrate Hannukkah and Rachael’s song, ‘Hanukkah in the Village’, a favourite with Rachael’s many fans is also beautiful.
Another Angry Baby favourite, classical-crossover artist Mary-Jess last year released an album of Christmas songs that encompasses all types of Christmas music. ‘I Fell In Love With A Snowman’ provides a theme-song for falling in love whilst Mary-Jess’s duet with Rhydian on The Sound Of Christmas’ maintains a refreshingly natural range and pitch within the mix. ‘Prayer To A Snowflake’ , the title track of the album, brings something fresh to the seasonal catalogue. Easily the stand-out piece of a stand-out album, Mary-Jess’s juxtaposition of Chinese musicality and classical European vocals creates an addictively melodic offering.
Earlier we touched on Gareth Malone’s 2016 Christmas album and we return to it with a look at a song written by Malone and Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson. ‘Paradise Street’ isn’t actually very festive but fits in perfectly to a Christmas album as it instantly calls to mind the magnificent ‘Fairy Tale of New York’ that has been a Christmas staple since Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues took it to number one. Wilson is of course an extremely talented wordsmith and his bittersweet lyrics combine effortlessly with the melody to take the listener on a musical journey.
Continuing the theme of not especially Christmassy festive offerings, Robb Murphy‘s’ North Star’ conjures an atmosphere of lives shared through the simple things. Contrasting a lilting beat with Robb’s laid-back vocal style, you’re invited to hum – or whistle – along. Glisteningly wintery, warm and fuzzy, the song holds an entire landscape in the simplest of arrangements.
We’ll end as we began with a Boe brother – Alfie, not Michael. Alfie Boe hasn’t recorded many Christmas songs (although he’s sung a fair few in live performances) but one that isn’t much heard these days is ‘Home for Christmas’, from his appearance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2012. Beautiful.
If you’re still contemplating Christmas shopping and are unsure what to get the music fan in your life, then we have the solution! Angry Baby has teamed up with Robb Murphy and Beth Ford to produce a couple of bundles of music that we love and know you will too. Click here for Robb and here for Beth.
Angry Baby is taking a festive break now until January so have yourselves a merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!
And get your free download of music from Angry Baby now, including Beth Ford’s “Silent Night” – just pop your email down below!