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She & Him
“’Tis the season to buy vinyl, fa la la la la blah blah blah” (you get it). If you are one to go out to thrift shops to hunt down some old records you’ll probably run into the same problem that I do. There are three primary categories in the vinyl thrift shop game that pretty much monopolize the shelves and they are as follows: 1) Country music, 2) Old gospel, and finally 3) Christmas! All of which are fine in their own respects but when you’re looking for some hidden Hall and Oats or Sinatra, having an abundance of the others make it just impossible. However Christmas is just around the corner and you actually may be in need of some Christmas albums! Instead of digging through piles and piles of scratched Rudolph LPs just make it easy on yourself. Go to your local record establishment and pick up a copy of She and Him’s newest Christmas cover album released October 28th, Christmas Party.
There are a lot of factors that would usually stop me from showing interest in this album. For example, it’s a Christmas album and it’s all covers. Despite the odds being stacked against the album, when I heard that there was an opportunity to review She and Him I had to jump on the opportunity. Their discography includes such an array of different genres, surf rock, 50’s pop, folk, and just so many others, which is a big reason why I enjoy them so much. Each album has a little different vibe to it so it’s always exciting to hear their new take on classic sounds. On Christmas Party they brought back The Chaplin Sisters who sang on their album from 2014, Classics, and they also features guest appearances on this album by Jenny Lewis, and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley.
This is the second Christmas cover album by Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, the first being A Very She and Him Christmas released October 24th, 2011 with tracks on it like, “Baby it’s cold outside,” “Have yourself a merry Christmas” and many others. Their new Christmas album echoes the old one a bit with it’s smooth laid-back 50’s jazz-esque feel. But with this album they reached out to some of the more obscure Christmas song which I appreciate. It would be very easy to only cover the main radio holiday songs (which they do some), but to reach out and do songs that I didn’t know gave me a smile. It speaks volumes about artists when they’re not focus on pandering to people and giving the music consumer immediate gratification.
So when you make that hot chocolate, put on that ironically tacky sweater, build a fire and invite your friends over don’t pick the radio station playing “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” that just will not float. This is the season of love, togetherness and giving, be free to enjoy it with some good music. Have a merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year!