Christmas comes but once a year, and THIS year we need it more than ever! As winter takes its hold on us, Christmas stands as a beacon of light guiding us through the dark and cold weeks of December, towards the warm hearth that is hope, and the promise of brighter days to come after a chilly, but necessary, restorative slumber.
Next to a nativity scene, ye ole’ tannenbaum, and the man-in-red, nothing is more synonymous with Christmas than music. We embrace and play it all; the ancient, the classic, and the brand new, on my nightly radio program!!! This season we’re fortunate to have a big variety of fresh Christmas releases from talented artists dedicated to delivering the gift of Christmas cheer - good things DO come in small packages!
Here’s 6 Magical Music Must recommendations to add to your holiday music libraries!
for King & Country – A Drummer Boy Christmas
for King & Country are a dynamic Grammy® Award-winning group led by a dynamic duo, the brother’s Joel and Luke Smallbone. I love their electrifying performances, their theatrical stage presence, and their unwavering message of love and HOPE. They are gifting us, this holiday season, their first Christmas album “A Drummer Boy Christmas,” 13 tracks of awe-inspiring performances, including, of course, “Little Drummer Boy” which bowled over the crowd at last year’s CMA Country Christmas and is one of my top favorite Christmas songs!
Said Joel in a recent interview, “I don’t want to get so far that I get too swallowed up in the despair of the influx of information that is getting passed around at an incredible rate. I don’t believe the world is getting worse. I believe that if you really focus on how far we’ve come, it’s really getting better.” Amen.
You may be lucky enough to live in an area that for King & Country will be stopping at during their Drummer Boy Drive-In concert tour. Check the schedule and get tickets HERE.
WATCH the new official video for Little Drummer Boy
ORDER the full Christmas album, A Drummer Boy Christmas
Francesca Battistelli - This Christmas
This Christmas, a new 14-track collection, with a mix of originals and Christmas classics is the second Christmas album for Grammy® Award-winning artist, Francesca Battistelli. It features a spine-tingling a cappella rendition of “Silent Night,” as well as the chart-topping single, “Messiah,” along with fun favorites like a remastered version of “Marshmallow World.”
The album started with a bang, going straight to the top of the iTunes Holiday Chart while the single, “Behold Him,” a ballad for all those struggling, landed in the top 5 iTunes Holiday Songs. The cover art, a textile piece of folk art itself .was hand-sewn and knitted by designer, Jessica Dance, and is almost reason enough to pick up the LP.
Says Battistelli, “I know that for many people, the Christmas season can be very difficult. My prayer is that these songs offer hope, glorify Jesus, bring joy (and maybe even some laughter!), and truly bless you, now and in the years to come.”
WATCH the hope-filled video for Behold Him
ORDER the full holiday album, This Christmas
Matt Nathanson - farewell december
California cutie, and platinum selling singer-songwriter, Matt Nathanson, released his first full Christmas LP this year also, “farewell december.” It’s a 12-track set that includes fun classics like “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” standards like “Blue Christmas,” and “Baby Please Come Home,” as well as unique picks such as Joni Mitchell’s “River,” all done in Nathanson’s inimitable style.
Nathanson himself sums it up beautifully, “I was trying to get it to sound the way the holidays & the end of the year feel… exciting, warm but also kinda sad and bitter sweet. a celebration of the end of something.”
I know I’m ready to celebrate the end of 2020, and I’ll bet the rest of you are as well!
You can get tickets (and merch!) for Nathanson’s 2-Night Holiday Show Livestream Extravaganza,
DECEMBER 17 +18 featuring 2 completely unique setlists including selections from farewell december, HERE
WATCH (through the window) as Matt performs Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
ORDER the full fabulous album, farewell december
Sia - Everyday Is Christmas
While the 9-time Grammy® nominated pop legend, Sia’s, “Everyday is Christmas,” album is not a new release, all 13 tracks are originals, and because Christmas music is only played for a few short weeks a year, they are still as fresh as the boughs of holly you’ll be decking your halls with this year!
Kick up your holiday playlist with “Santa's Coming For Us,” “Snowman,” “Candy Cane Lane,” “Underneath The Christmas Lights,” and every other one of the terrific twinkling tracks!
WATCH the delightful video for Santa’s Comin’ For Us
ORDER the full original album, Everyday Is Christmas
Leslie Odom, Jr. - The Christmas Album
Tony and Grammy® Award-winner, singer, actor, and author, Leslie Odom, Jr,. has wrapped up another holiday collection for us this year, with his release of “The Christmas Album.” When choosing the track list, he thought much about what people would be needing this year, after the struggles and strife 2020 brought to so many. The 12-track album features many holiday classics as well as two new tunes, “Snow” and “Winter Song (feat. Cynthia Erivo)” that were released in October with the announcement of The Christmas Album.
Leslie has a busy schedule this season, so be sure to catch up with him at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26, AND on my podcast, LOVE SOMEONE with Delilah on December 22!
Such a kind and talented and man!
LISTEN to Leslie’s incredible cover of Last Christmas
ORDER the full celebratory collection, The Christmas Album
Pentatonix - We Need A Little Christmas
Friends and family were holding their breath and crossing their fingers in hopes that Pentatonix would release a new Christmas album this year, and our wishes have come true! “We Need A Little Christmas” will be available on November 13th, and you can pre-order it today!
The unique a cappella harmonies created by the three-time Grammy® Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling group seems especially suited to the Christmas season, and never more embraced than this year, when so much has gone so wrong, to have this gift that is so so right!
Their rendition of Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) will leave goose bumps, as I’m sure all 13 tracks on the album will!