For years now, people have been asking me (or urging, rather) if I will ever do a Christmas album or release a Christmas song. And although I tell myself that all the greats from Lennon and McCartney to David Bowie and Bing Crosby have all decked the halls with their respective takes on holiday classics, my response has always been a jolly,”Hell no!”
Of course it always is encouraging to hear bands like Denver’s, Oh,Starling, take a defibrillator to the ditties we hear about ten thousand times over the course of the Christmas season, and turn out an original and impeccably controlled set of carols with a matchless indie flair.
Noel is the second helping of Christmas covers from Denver music darlings (as well as husband and wife), Jessica Sonner and Dan Craig, who have infused a haunting sweetness into arrangements like ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful‘ and ‘Noel.‘
The trouble with undertaking the classics in a contemporary fashion is that it’s difficult to strike a true balance between being current and fresh while keeping the jingle-bell-feeling intact that these songs are all known and appreciated for. I hate the “new” christmas songs–Nice try Richard Marx. While nursing a hangover and listening to their EP’s the other morning, I found myself stopping to really listen in as if I had never heard, ‘Joy To The World‘ before.
The duo’s EPs actively exhibit that their two voices are simpatico and sincerely intent on making one believe in these songs all over again. And for the record, It worked–which is humbling to admit. Thanks a lot, Oh,Starling. Merry Christmas.
For a little something different, a free track for the public is available on Oh, Starling’s website in exchange for an email and the option to buy each EP for $5.
Joshua Novak is a celebrated musician in Denver who recently placed in the top 20 out of 560 bands in the DENVER POST’s BEST OF THE UNDERGROUND. He is a five time WESTWORD SHOWCASE nominee, winner of the MODMUSIC RECORDS INDIE BAND SEARCH in N.Y. and has played RED ROCKS as part of the epic MONOLITH FESTIVAL which included acts like: TV ON THE RADIO, VAMPIRE WEEKEND, THE KILLS, JUSTICE and others. He also blogs for 303 Magazine and can tie a cherry stem in a knot with his tongue.