It’s the day after Thanksgiving, which means it’s now socially acceptable to start playing holiday-themed music as you countdown to December 25! From fresh takes on traditional classics to the introduction of new contemporary originals, there’s never a shortage of creativity when it comes to introducing new Christmas songs to the music listener’s repertoire. With the big day exactly one month away, here’s a sampling of 12 newly-released Christmas albums to help you get into the Yuletide spirit.
On November 8th, I saw Kris Allen at the Vogue Theatre. The last time Kris played Vancouver was back in 2009 for the American Idol Tour at Rogers Arena, just fresh off of his victorious Idol win during Season 8. Five years later, the indie singer/songwriter returns as the special guest on YouTube sensation Boyce Avenue‘s No Limits Tour, in support of his new album, Horizons.
SONGS OF SUMMER 2014
1. Lana Del Rey – West Coast
2. Haley Reinhart – Show Me Your Moves
3. Sam Smith – Stay With Me
4. Kris Allen – Prove It To You (feat. Lenachka)
5. Phillip Phillips – Raging Fire
6. Paramore – Ain’t It Fun
7. Ed Sheeran – Sing
8. Queen + Adam Lambert – Love Kills (Freddie Mercury)
9. Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood – Somethin’ Bad
10. Didi Benami – Trouble
11. Sara Bareilles – Chandelier (Sia)
12. Gavin DeGraw – Fire
13. Colbie Caillat – Try
14. Blue Swede – Hooked On A Feeling
14. Janelle Monáe – Heroes (David Bowie)
15. Michael Johns – Day Breaks Sun
(For the full playlist, view my list on Quietly)
This mix of fifteen tunes consists of upbeat beats (“Show Me Your Moves”, “Sing”, “Ain’t It Fun”, “Somethin’ Bad”), sensitive ballads (“Stay With Me”, “Prove It To You”, “Love Kills”, “Chandelier”), uplifting tunes (“Raging Fire”, “Fire”, “Day Breaks Sun”), moody beats (“West Coast”, “Trouble”), mood boosters (“Try”, “Heroes”), and some infectious ooga chaka-ing (“Hooked On A Feeling”).
A new horizon has opened up for Kris Allen. The singer/songwriter recently released his third studio album, Horizons as an independent venture, and as a result, it is his most personal and remarkable project to date.
RIP Penny Lane (2008-2014).
My iPod Classic Penny Lane had a fatal heart attack (or a hard drive failure, in tech terms) last Wednesday. Truthfully, I was really choked when she croaked. I got her back in April 2008 and we were inseparable for six solid years. Penny Lane was with me through it all – good days and bad days, happy times and sad times, the highest highs and the lowest lows, along with every milestone, celebration, trip, and tragedy along the way. She was an essential piece to the formative years of my early twenties, helping me to create the soundtrack to my life with the music that would shape my world. Though the songs still live on, having to say goodbye to her was a hard thing to do. As I move into this new era with Sir Duke (my new iPod Classic), I look forward to making more music memories while still treasuring the past. Thank you, Penny Lane. You’re forever in my ears and in my eyes.
In tribute to my late friend, here’s a handful of new tunes I’ve been listening to lately…