Christmas is no doubt one of the most exciting holidays of the year. Amid the hustle and bustle of the season, one of the most treasured traditions that Christmas can bring is the exclusive music that is created just for this special time of year. From traditional carols and standards to original material cultivated by our own artist’s right here in Canada, there is no shortage of music to accompany all of your Christmas moments.
This year at Canadian Beats we wanted to present you with a special Countdown to Christmas with some of the best Christmas songs by some of our favourite Canadian artists just for you. Each part will focus on bringing something musically special to your Christmas. From original Christmas songs to some of the best holiday albums, we will deliver the best in Canadian music to you right up until Christmas.
Here is Part Four of Canadian Beats: Countdown to Christmas that we hope will bring you some musical comfort and joy.
“Under the Tree” is a track from The Good Lovelies 2014 Christmas EP, Winter’s Calling. The Good Lovelies first emerged in and has since compiled a catalogue of four studio albums, a pair of EPs, a live album, and Christmas collection. “Under The Tree” blends the harmonies of Kerri Ough, Sue Passmore, and Caroline Brooks. With their smooth musical blend, the vocalists make this original holiday track seem just a little more magical in addition to the other songs on their EP. The Good Lovelies will kick off a tour in January 2018 that will take them through parts of Canada and the United States, but for now just relax and check out “Under The Tree” from their holiday EP, Winter’s Calling.
“Christmas At Home” appeared on Canadian music icon Rita MacNeil’s 1988 holiday album, Now the Bells Ring. Known for her big voice and larger than life on stage personality, MacNeil graced us with many holiday specials, albums, and musical memories. “Christmas At Home” became a quick fan favourite and has been covered by many artists who have been inspired by MacNeil and her strong and enduring persona. Since her untimely passing in April 2013, fans continue to play MacNeil’s holiday music and remember the artist that carried such a strong and positive spirit. “Christmas At Home” is a holiday postcard of all of the magical memories and the time spent with family that is what makes the season merry and bright. “Christmas At Home” was reissued on the 2003 album, Late December.
“Beyond The Tinsel” is a brand new track from Roxanne Potvin. The soulful singer/songwriter and guitarist currently based in Gatineau, Quebec and has released the new tune just in time for Christmas while putting some finishing touches on her upcoming EP, scheduled for early 2018. Potvin mentions that she “wrote the song last year thinking of a friend who was spending Christmas alone” and she was “reminded of all the people out there who were in the same situation.” The song is coupled with Potvin’s soulful vocals and holiday spirit. Potvin will kick off the New Year with a performance in Ottawa at the Robo Bar on January 2, 2018.
“It’s Christmas Day” is a brand new single released by vintage rock duo, BROS. The duo comprised of real-life brothers, Ewan and Shamus Currie who are also members to the Sheepdogs. The sibling’s created the side project to continue to cultivate and grow their musical passion. The duo released a special two-song holiday EP, A Very Bros Christmas Vol. 1. to capture their holiday spirit and debut their original Christmas songs. Their Christmas EP is the follow up to their October 2016 debut titled, Vol 1. The duo turned to holiday classics such as; “The Christmas Song,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” and “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” for inspiration while writing the two new tracks.
“White Christmas” is one of those songs you can’t throw a snowball around without hearing each season. Madeline Merlo released her version of the iconic song last December and this year it has become one of our favourite versions of “White Christmas.” With Merlo’s soulful vocals, and backed by an elegant arrangement this makes a great addition to your holiday playlists. Merlo has been making a name for herself in country music and continues to soar since the release of her Debut album, Free Soul. With her own unique stamp on this sing, Merlo makes “White Christmas” dreamy and enchanting the way it was meant to be when it was penned back in 1940 by Irving Berlin. Berlin believed in the song from the moment it was written, and we are sure he would have enjoyed Merlo’s traditional take on his classic hit.
“Live Every Day (Like It Was Christmas Day)” is a heartwarming and original Christmas track from Canadian country artist, Drake Jensen. Jensen released his holiday EP, Christmas At Home in November 2012, and it is still a favourite go-to for quality Christmas music. The EP features Jensen’s take on some of his favourite Christmas songs from growing up and even includes; “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Blue Christmas,” and the title track “Christmas At Home” which is Jensen’s interpretation of the beloved Rita MacNeil classic. “Live Every Day (Like It Was Christmas Day)” reminds us to carry the spirit of the season with us throughout the year, to focus on the positive, and to embrace the true meaning of Christmas.
“The First Noel” is a beloved traditional English Christmas carol. With is spiritual lyrics and interpretation of the first Christmas the song has since been performed for years by many artists, including a rendition by the Crash Test Dummies which features the rich and deep vocals of frontman, Brad Roberts. The Crash Test Dummies were formed in Winnipeg and were known for their mega hits such as “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” and “Superman’s Song.” In 1991 the Crash Test Dummies recorded “The First Noel” for the compilation album, A Lump of Coal. The track has since resurfaced on their 2002 holiday album, Jingle All the Way. You can’t help but be astounded by the low register of Robert’s vocals and the traditional arrangement of this classic carol.
“Christmas Magic” is the most recent single from Canadian South Asian Urban artist, Mr. Bolly. The funky hip-hop track features the smooth vocals of Chhaya Dewan. “Christmas Magic” goes to show that you don’t need to be bound to a certain genre to hear some festive Christmas music. Mr. Bolly drops the track with his imaginative lyrics, and Chhaya Dewan serving up some Christmas music realness. The new single officially hit iTunes and other music services on December 15, 2017 just in time for the holiday season. Mr. Bolly will be releasing his newest musical works in early 2018, The Ringmaster which will be Mr. Bolly’s six-track EP. Mr. Bolly is widely known for his eclectic performances and his mix of R&B, Rap and Pop music all of which he incorporated into his track “Christmas Magic.”
Music has touched my soul since day one. Whether it is performing or sitting down with some of the biggest names in music, I can always be found sharing my profoundly tender affection of music with anyone who will listen. Being a music journalist has allowed me to expand my knowledge of music and interact with some of my biggest childhood heroes. From days of radio broadcasting to sitting back, kicking off my cowboy boots and sharing my adventures with likeminded music fans online has been nothing short of amazing. Canada is full of true musical talent and I look forward to continuing to share my adventures in music with you.