Holiday music starts trickling into radio stations starting in September before becoming a deluge by December. Every year seems to bring new offerings from artists we love and collections that have a cool theme but can quickly underwhelm. Every few years, a revelation comes out, a holiday collection that truly encapsulates the season while also sounding fresh. The Best Song You’ve Never Heard comes from one of the best compilations of the last decade.
Concord Music and its variety of labels has been a great source of unique holiday songs for years now. They find new ways to release classics along with updated songs from their impressive roster of artists. This era of holiday music greatness started in 2012 with a compilation through their Hear Music label. Produced by The Decemberists’ Chris Funk, Holidays Rule at first seems like just another holiday release. Once you dig into it, you find a well thought out compilation of artists.
It kicks off with fun., who at the time were still in the middle of their hugely successful Some Nights album, and their version of “Sleigh Ride”. The album then launches into more songs recorded by artists ranging from Paul McCartney to Agesandages. It mixed well known bands with up-and-coming artists. Some songs were very traditional like Andrew Bird’s “Auld Lang Syne”, others were more modern, like The Shins’ update of “Wonderful Christmastime”.
With New Years Eve coming this weekend, a personal favorite of mine is The Head And The Heart covering “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” Originally recorded in 1947 by Margaret Whiting, the song has been covered by artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, and Kacey Musgraves.
The Head And The Heart took the song and made it their own, starting with a piano and Jonathan Russell’s smooth vocals. Charity Rose Theilen then comes in with her unique style for the next verse to make this a duet version. Slowly they build up with drums and guitar before launching into a bridge like we’ve heard in many classic The Head And The Heart songs before.
This song is a great way to wrap up a year and is perfect to get ready for 2022.
Jeff is a KXT weekend host and the Manager of Radio Operations for KERA 90.1 and KXT 91.7.
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