The heart and soul of a musician shine in their Christmas albums, especially, it seems to me, for those who are not in the mainstream. Such is the case with Andrea Hamilton and her new release “Let Your Heart Be Light”, a beautiful new record this Christmas season.
Andrea Hamilton has channeled her talents into Christian recordings with her previous albums “Deciding What to Keep”, “Salvation Come”, and “Slow Miracle”. In 2013, the LA-based Olathe, Kansas native (a local gal!) turned to Christmas music to deliver her message of spirituality and joy. “Let Your Heart Be Light” is a collection of 12 traditional and original Christmas songs that is certain brighten your holiday season.
Andrea’s arrangements of “O Come All Ye Faithful”, titled simply “O Come”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”, and “Silent Night” are unique and superbly refreshing, without losing the reverence for the season. “O Come” is upbeat and lively, turned in to a light pop version of the Christmas classic. “Silent Night” is an especially pleasing performance, tweaking the melody just enough to make it interesting and provocative, and then returning to the song's traditional form.
The original songs are exceptional. “Christmas Clock”, “Love Came Down”, and “Waiting for Christmas Morn”, written or co-written by Andrea, show her accomplished skills as a songwriter. “Every Time”, written by Andrea and Kip Fox, is my favorite song on the album. It captures the meaning of Christmas as few songs do. The line “It’s not what I got but what I got for you” perfectly frames the spirit of the holiday, that of giving and bringing joy to the ones we love.
Andrea’s light, ethereal, crisp vocals are beautiful throughout the album, expertly complemented by her piano playing. Her musicians – Emanuel Cervantes, Corey Witt, James Grey, Daniel Roberts, and Brendan Bennett – blend and accompany perfectly throughout the record.
Andrea Hamilton is another artist I found via a Kickstarter campaign. This year has produced some amazing Christmas music through Kickstarter – Elizabeth Chan, The Bowmans, and Andrea Hamilton. I encourage all of my readers to visit Kickstarter and help fund these artists, even with a modest contribution. Every donation helps these tremendous musicians, and it’s a great feeling to play a small part in a successful project.
“Let Your Heart Be Light” is available on Spotify. Give it a listen, and if you like it, support the artist by purchasing her CD. This and Andrea’s other albums are available on Amazon as well as her website, hopefulpop.com.