2. Winter Wonderland
3. Let It Snow
4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
to be continued................
This time of year is always a fertile time for finding freebies I missed in previous years (and I've got a number of them double parked outside), but this is probably my favorite new holiday discovery of this still young year.
Hemmingbirds is a Chicago based Indie-Rock outfit put together by Yoo Soo Kim. Kim started as a solo artist but then decided that working alone was too limiting in some ways (like playing live, for instance). The current band is a five piece and they've generated quite a bit of buzz in the midwest, drawing favorable comparisons to lots of the best bands Indie-Rock has to offer. All I know is their version of "Feliz Navidad" hit me like a sixpack of Four Loko (and I mean that in a good way). "Winter Wonderland" and "Let It Snow" worked for me as well, though less so; but "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" was just bloody brilliant.
The music here, recorded between 2007 and 2010, is like the entire Christmas experience all mixed and mashed into one neat little package. It's joyful and melancholy at the same time, with the freshness and innocence of youth and the wisdom and cynicism of middle age; it's like Christmas morning and one really strange (but not necessarily bad) acid trip all wrapped up together and topped with a really nice Christmas bow. It's cool and it's hot and it's worth checking out, all you Christmas music hunters, especially as there's not all that much else to immerse yourselves in for a couple more months.
And the best part, perhaps, is that "Carol Of The Birds" is a work in progress; Yoo Soo Kim promises they'll be adding more to the EP this Christmas and in the Christmases to come.
Pick up "Carol Of The Birds" free at Bandcamp. Check out the group's debut album from last year, "Death Wave" (that one you'll have to pay for if you want it), and pay a visit to the Hemmingbirds web site to find out what they're up to and where they'll be playing.