It may be just a bit too early for posts about Christmas. Frankly, it seems like it’s too early for Halloween decorations, but some of my neighbors started working on their haunting displays back in September.1 Despite our distance from the “happiest time of the year,” though, I had to post this because I’ve been enjoying this cover song.
For its tenth anniversary, She & Him are releasing a deluxe version of their Christmas album. They got clever in adding bonus tracks and bent the rules a bit by putting in a cover of Madonna’s “Holiday,” instead of a proper Christmas song.2 I’m okay with the band coloring outside of the lines when the final drawing looks this good. Somehow, the duo figure out how to add a smidge of honky tonk, guitar noise (thanks to Matt Ward’s tasteful use of distortion) and also a bit of funk. The last addition surprised me most, considering the original song was written by Pure Energy, a disco/post-disco group, whereas Zooey and Matt aren’t known for bringing the funk. Zooey sounds as delightfully distinctive as ever, and I love the fact that you can recognize her vocals instantly.
It’s hard to beat early Madonna. The songs and their production have aged well. She & Him definitely make a solid attempt and give us a track that we can listen to not just at Christmas, but all year round.
It’s almost like Halloween is becoming a secular liturgical season. ↩︎
It squeaks into the Christmas category by virtue of Christmas being a holiday, even though the song is more about going on vacation. ↩︎