Monday, December 4, 2023

New Music Roundup!

Hi folks!  It's once again time for the annual New Music Roundup.  So, giddyap - here we go!


The Gleeman - "I Love Christmastime"

Singer songwriter The Gleeman has announced a Christmas single release, ‘I Love Christmastime’ to keep the focus of the world’s eye on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the impact it continues to have on the children of the war-torn country. The single is raising awareness for the charity War Child.

Music has historically been known to bring togetherness in times of displacement and conflict. In the past, Christmas songs such as "Christmas 1914" by Mike Harding and Paul McCartney’s ‘Pipes of Peace’, all delivered a Christmas sentiment and poignant message. Music is a constant source of comfort for many, a safe place of escapism in a turbulent world. Christmas for Ukrainians, despite their devastating war-torn environment, is still an essential and important date for them to celebrate, particularly for children. This year for the first time in its history, Ukraine will celebrate Christmas day on the 25th of December.

War Child received the track a few months ago and loved the song, which has been written from the perspective of a child, as The Gleeman crafts lyrics remembering the joys and magic of the Christmases gone-by. A gifted musician and storyteller, The Gleeman with the support of War Child was motivated to release the single to keep the plight of children in Kyiv and Ukraine at the front of people’s minds.


Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen - "Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You"

Looks like Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen (DDEG) may just make it on to Santa’s “nice list,” after all. The critically-acclaimed blues-infused rock band presents their rendition of one of their favorite holiday songs “Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You” (Billy Squier, 1981)

“’Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You’ has always been one of my favorite Christmas tunes,” said Frontman/Lead Guitarist/Singer-Songwriter Dustin Douglas. “Something about the bluesy verses and Squier’s unmistakable voice makes me smile. I always knew someday I’d record this track.”

And that he did. However, in true fashion, the group – which is rounded out by Drummer Tommy Smallcomb and Bassist Matt “The Dane” Gabriel – didn’t simply cover the iconic holiday song. They re-invented it. Recorded at Eight Days A Week Studio in Northumberland, PA, DDEG’s version boldly boasts the band’s signature swagger, big guitars, infectious rhythms, and sexy grooves with Douglas’ distinct bluesy, vocal delivery, honoring Squier's original vibe … while making it their own.

Dustin Douglas Music


Mikalyn "Sweet the Snow Falls"

Canadian musician Mikalyn's heartfelt emotional rendition of a beautiful holiday song about the magic of the outdoors in the Winter, written by promising new Canadian songwriter Greg Weinerek.


Chris Daily  Seasonal Sounds

“Seasonal Sounds & Traditional Songs” is a mix of classic R&B and retrorock with indie lo-fi vibes and an ear towards the holiday season. Also featured on the track "When Otis Redding Sang (Merry Christmas Baby) Remix" is soul singer songwriter Erica Michelle.

"Seasonal Sounds" on Bandcamp

The Static Dive "Happy Xmas (War is Over)"

As we enter the holiday season with wars on multiple shores, The Static Dive (musician and writer, Bob Smith) delivers a bossa nova-infused indie-pop interpretation of John Lennon's holiday classic. With its chill vibe, a touch of melancholy, and a unique jazz combo arrangement, the song is a smooth take on an iconic call for peace that is more relevant today than ever before.

Note from Der Bingle:  "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" is a Christmas song that is sacred to me - there are very few versions that I like.  The Static Dive's passes muster - well done!


Mango Island Sound "So Many Christmases Ago"

"So Many Christmases Ago" is family song about memories of Christmas Eve as a child, Christmas morning as a young parent, then Christmas night as a grandparent, and ends with "as long as we hold on to all these memories, we'll always be together Christmas night." It's in a traditional Christmas
style and builds to a subtle, slow calypso beat with steel drum accompaniment.


Corvair "Long Way Around the Sea"  

Portland-based band Corvair is pleased to release their latest Christmas song, a cover of Low’s “The Long Way Around the Sea.” This is the fourth Christmas song the band has released in four years. They are currently working on a Christmas EP for 2024.

Singer and guitarist Brian Naubert says of the decision to cover the song, “Low’s Christmas album, which was released in 1999, is one of my favorite holiday albums of all time. I’ve always been very interested in Christmas music, including making my own, but their record completely redefined for me what the genre could be. It’s so profound, there’s not one saccharine moment.”

Singer Heather Larimer says of the song, “I’ve been making Christmas music since my first band, Eux Autres. And I usually like to try to push the subject matter a bit dark. For instance, the first one I co-wrote (“Another Christmas at Home”) was about a dive bar in Omaha. But this year, it felt right to cover a Low song, one that is written deep inside the original Christmas Story. Even just the phrase ‘take the long way around the sea,’ with all of its sustained open vowels, is very poignant. It cracks your heart open to sing it.”


Amanda Fagan "Snowfall"

Amanda Fagan, San Diego singer/songwriter who last graced the pages of Merry & Bright in 2021, is back with a new single for the 2023 Christmas season.  "Snowfall" is another original song from the talented Amanda.


Deneice Pearson "Santa Claus is Coming"  

Continuing a celebration of 40 years in the industry Brit Award winner, Grammy nominee, and lead singer of iconic pop group, FIVE STAR, Deniece Pearson announces news of her first ever Christmas single, ‘Santa Claus is Coming.’ Out 1st December.

It’s a Caribbean Christmas for Deniece as she presents her original Christmas song ‘Santa Claus is Coming’. Celebrating the true meaning of Christmas and also the fun side of the season, the reggae-flavoured ‘Santa Claus is Coming’ is an uplifting, joyful sing-along with pitch perfect harmonies and an infectious groove – a modern-day Christmas song with all the hallmarks of a keeper.


Ashley Brandenburg "Winter Magic"

Get ready to feel the holiday spirit with Ashley Brandenburg's newest release, "Winter Magic." This festive tune seamlessly combines nostalgic elements with singer/songwriter pop sounds, creating a truly enchanting experience. With its catchy chorus and heartwarming lyrics, "Winter Magic" celebrates the joy and wonder of the season. Ashley's soulful voice and musical talents shine through in this uplifting track, reminding listeners of the magic that can be found in the simplest of moments. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, cozy up by the fire, and let "Winter Magic" transport you to a world of holiday cheer. Don't forget to share it with your friends and family to spread the joy this season!


Kevin Scott Hall & Judy Pancoast "Christmastime in Maine"

From the duo of Kevin Scott Hall and Judy Pancoast comes "Christmastime in Maine", capturing the qualities and spirit of the holidays in the Pine Tree State from two born and raised Mainers.  "Christmastime in Maine" is produced by award-winning roots artist Grant Malloy Smith, and is available at all the usual streaming platforms.

Kevin Scott Hall website
Judy Pancoast website

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