This week we’re sharing festive and wintery songs to cheer up the holiday season!
A lot of writers frequently turn to music for inspiration. A particularly evocative piece of music or song can get the words flowing for a short story or set the tone for a novel. It’s a symbiotic relationship writers have with musicians and artists – we feed off each other’s creativity and in turn create new work.
On Music Mondays, we will each share one song that speaks to us or represents our work. It could be part of a playlist for our WiP, or just a song that’s been on replay lately. Feel free to share your recommendations or check out ours!
Every year for Christmas, there is a house in the neighborhood where I grow up that is covered in lights that turn on and off according to the music on the radio. (The owner of the house owns the radio station, possibly? Otherwise, I’m still not sure how they do this.) It really isn’t Christmas until you’ve driven by this house to watch the lights dance along to Christmas music. There are dozens of amazing Christmas songs that are coordinated to these lights, but I have to say my favorite has to be Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells.” There’s something so delightfully dramatic about it.
The house in the video is not the same house in my neighborhood, but it’s close. We have less instruments and more lights on trees.
(Also, I recommend watching the whole YouTube video playlist. I just came across ‘Let it Go’ and omg.)
One my all-time favorite groups is the acapella ensemble Pentatonix. They’re insanely talented singers and beatboxers, and I always have their Christmas albums on repeat at this time of year. (Ok, and maybe sometimes in July, when it’s really hot out and I’m homesick….but mostly just in December.) This song is – again – one of my favorites by them, and is another version of Becky’s song for this week:
I love their new arrangements of old classics, and the way they highlight each member’s voice at strategic points in the song. (To get the full effect make sure you listen with headphones, since the voice of the bass singer, Avi, can sometimes get lost.) They recently released a video of their cover of ‘Hallelujah’ and it’s also gorgeous, so check that one out if you’re interested.
Though I wanted to continue the theme of “Carol of the Bells” by providing Trans Siberian Orchestra’s version (because that seriously is the best Christmas song ever), I thought I’d mix it up by showing another cover of a very popular song, but heard in a very different way: Minor Key’s (featuring Chase Holfelder) “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. As his name suggests, the song is sung entirely in minor key (you should check out some of his other covers, too, including “Silent Night”, if you’re feeling festive, or “Animals” if you want to see a mainstream song). And this also happens to be a rock rendition. Growing up listening to classic rock and then getting into the heavier stuff in high school (and still jamming to both today), when my sister introduced me to this cover last holiday season, I became addicted. I bet you’ll see why after you listen.
I’ve loved Cider Sky ever since I came across another song of theirs, Northern Lights, on YouTube. There’s something so magical about their music and their vocals. I’ve written several pieces of fiction to their music. This Christmas, leave this song running on the background while you get busy with preparation and you’ll be in a dreamy mood all day long!
We hope you like our picks this week! What are some of your favourite holiday songs? Share them with us in the comments section below!