So, we listened to our first Christmas album of the season today. There are certainly plenty to around to choose from. But we went with Sarah Dawn Finer’s ‘Winterland’ to ferry us into the festive period. And CHRIST ALIVE (a fitting phrase, we feel, given the occasion that the album is celebrating!), we were not expecting to be blown away by it as much as we were. After all, it’s only a Christmas album, right?
‘Winterland’ is seriously a cut above other Christmas albums. It’s an absolutely beautiful collection of songs, meticulously chosen for their tone, and stylised into symmetry with each other. Classic songs that we all know, and lesser known gems that we don’t, have been crafted to fit a cohesive sound that runs through the album. It’s heavy on the piano, acoustic and quiet, and often jazz-lite. It’s a thoroughly classy affair. And the entire listening experience is so full of warmth too. It’s all so warm, cosy, and comforting, that it’s like getting a big hug from the lady herself! And we’ve had a hug or two from Sarah in our time, so we know what we’re talking about in that respect! We guess it proved itself to be such an enjoyable listening experience when despite the fact that it’s a hefty 14 track LP, with some songs clocking in at over six minutes, we still thought that it ended too soon, and could happily have listened to more. But we just pressed play again!
Another thing we picked up on is her incredible voice. Yes, we always knew that Sarah Dawn Finer has a fantastic voice, but these songs really show it off like no other album of hers. It shows a new depth to it, and like we mentioned above, a massive warmth. Some of these tracks are songs that we’ve heard hundreds of times before – but Sarah’s versions are like hearing them for the first time again. It’s just such a joy to hear her on stuff like ‘The Christmas Song’, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’, and ‘What A Wonderful World’.
Finally, as we mentioned above, there were some songs on here that might be famous Christmas songs, but that we personally hadn’t heard before. One song in particular though, that we were hearing for the first time when we listened to this album, is just totally and utterly GORGEOUS in every way, and we’ve already become a little obsessed by it. It’s called ‘Winter Song’, and she sings it as a duet with Louise Hoffsten. Wow, wow, wow, wow! It’s just so beautiful. You must check it out.
With regards to checking it out, well of course it’s currently on Swedish Spotify and iTunes. But her label Roxy Recordings have done the sensible thing and are releasing it worldwide. So as of tomorrow, you’ll be able to purchase it from iTunes wherever you are in the world. And if Christmas albums are your thing, then we’d recommend that you do. As this is top quality Christmas tunage!
Thank you Sarah Dawn Finer – Christmas season has officially arrived for us thanks to this!