Browsing Tag

Christmas 2020

You’ll be in good company with Jones’ sardonically-sweet festive Hip Hop drop ‘Home Alone’


Breaking Texas-hailing Hip Hop artist, Jones, is set to drop their infectiously high-vibe track ‘Home Alone’; it may be the most sardonically ingenious Rona-inspired track we have heard this year.

Hit play and feel the negative emotions stemming from cabin fever and isolation slip away as Jones proves that you’ve got a choice in how you view the ‘unprecedented times’ as they unfold. The playful charisma never overshadows the talent on show in Home Alone, which, of course, pays lots of references to the cult hit Christmas film. If any Christmas track truly stands as a testament to the absurdity of 2020, it’s this one.

You’ll have to wait a little longer before you can check out Home Alone for yourselves. In the meantime, head over to Spotify and SoundCloud to check out the artist’s earlier releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

James Jones – Christmas Passed (Feat. Olawale)

When you can count supporters as diverse as Eamonn Holmes and the great Dave Swarbrick, something’s clearly going well for you; James Jones had his first gig at the age of 11 as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of London at Cardiff International Arena. Since then he’s gone on to support Swarbrick, his childhood inspiration, and performed at the BBC Proms In The Park.

‘Christmas Passed’ is Jones’ new single, from his album of classical and jazz-inspired pop songs due for release on the 29th December; featuring the wonderful vocals of Olawale Ojo (the winner of Project Fame West Africa) over Jones’ beautiful fingerstyle mildly jazzy classical guitar accompaniment. It’s an exquisite piece of work, the melody line of the guitar perfectly complimenting Ojo’s sublime voice, never intrusive but shadowing and balancing in a stunning counterpoint.

Hear ‘Christmas Passed’ on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

John Riesen and Neill Campbell – Oh Holy Night: A stunning Classical showcase of nocturnal piety

Plenty of people will be making difficult compromises this Christmas, one thing which we definitely don’t have to compromise on, thanks to artists such as John Riesen and Neill Campbell, is festively enrapturing music.

Their Classical cover album, Christmas at Home, is a collection of the most revered Christmas songs from across the decades, revived by award-winning Tenor, John Riesen. During the soul-melting crescendos, drinking in his theatrically transfixing vocal timbre becomes more important than breathing. Their ardent operatic stretches perfectly compliment the arcanely uplifting Classical score which is breath-taking enough to abstract you from the fact that Christmas 2020 might be a little bleaker this year.

Oh Holy Night is available to stream via Spotify along with the rest of John Riesen and Neill Campbell’s Christmas album, Christmas at Home.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Colour Formation – Until We Meet Again: The Upbeat Indie Christmas Single We All Need on Our Playlists

Indie duo, Colour Formation, have released a Christmas single like no other with their latest release ‘Until We Meet Again’. Singer-songwriter Laura Osborne penned the poignant and powerfully upraising single for her parents, reinforcing the resilience which we have all had to find throughout 2020. The lyrics reminisce on tradition without an ounce of remorse. Instead, a sense of gratitude runs through the single. We might not celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, but that’s no reason not to find gratitude for the people we have in our lives, even if we can’t be with them physically right now. The assuredness that we will be reuinited is the cherry on this stunningly contemporary aural cake.

Until We Meet Again could have easily be considered as one of the best contenders for the John Lewis Christmas advert. And no review of this single would be complete without the admission that the floodgates well and truly opened.

You can check out the official music video which released on December 4th by heading over to YouTube.


Review by Amelia Vandergast

Giada Valenti makes Christmas truly special with ‘What Child Is This?’

Giada Valenti

Giada Valenti may already be well-known to anyone who’s viewed her PBS music special ‘From Venice With Love’, heard her performances with none other than the great Andrea Bocelli, 2018 and 2019 concerts at NYC’s Carnegie Hall, or the eight – count them – years straight Red Carpet performances at the Columbus Day parades in New York.

Signed to Sony BMG in 2005 as a young performer, and having released four albums to rave reviews for her beautiful, haunting voice, Valenti now releases her version of Christmas carol ‘What Child Is This?’; written, lyrically at least, by William Chatterton Dix in 1865, and set to the tune of Greensleeves following Dix’s spiritual awakening following a severe illness, ‘What Child Is This?’ is perhaps better known as a carol in the Valenti’s home of the United States than in its country of origin today, but this stunning, sublime rendition could be the moment that all changes.

Exquisitely stripped back, set to acoustic guitar and with a glorious, heavenly violin part courtesy of the incredible Volkan Canbolat, ‘What Child Is This?’ is simply utterly, utterly dazzling, Valenti’s silky, soaring vocal the icing on the (Christmas) cake of a truly alluring, elegant musical arrangement.

While the Twitterati argue over the radio edit of ‘Fairytale Of New York’ and newly reopened shops regale us all with ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ and three different versions of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, Giada Valenti’s ‘What Child Is This?’ might just be the Christmas song that actually says ‘Christmas’. If this doesn’t get your seasonal ‘goodwill to all men’ flowing, then very little will.

Listen to ‘What Child Is This?’ on Giada Valenti’s website or via Facebook now.

Review by Alex Holmes

CORBETT – Under the Tree: An Alt-Folk Festive Playlist Staple


Usually, when you think of Christmas music, you think of the grating classics you hear in supermarkets or whichever iconic track John Lewis has decided to butcher with their Christmas ad, but CORBETT’s forthcoming single ‘Under the Tree’ will shatter your perception of festively-inclined aural offerings.

With the London Folk singer-songwriter’s enigmatic whiskey-soaked raspy vocals which will send an ethereal chill up your spine interlacing with a stripped-back jazzy Folk arrangement and lyrics lamenting over lactose intolerance, it’s impossible not to be endeared.

I didn’t think that I’d ever see the day where a Christmas song touched my soul and made me turn a smile, it’s practically a Christmas miracle.

Under the Tree is due for official release on December 1st. You’ll be able to check it out via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast