We’ve shared a great selection of new holiday tunes with you over these last few weeks, mixing things up a little with some smooth jazz, some mid-twentieth century inspired pop, some folk, rock, and added a little instrumental surf-rock twang in there too. If your new holiday music releases are as un-mainstream radio friendly as they come, GDW are happy to hear from you! As we head into this final week before the Christmas break, we have one more holiday tune (of sorts) to share – and if our selection of slightly unconventional holiday music has appealed to you, believe me, you’re going to absolutely adore our hand-picked choice today.
“Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming” is a very special holiday single, recorded by Guelph, ON singer-songwriter Doris Folkens. This is, however, not your typical standard Christmas fare, per se, but a beautiful interpretation of a lesser-known hymn. “This song is believed to have been written sometime in the 16th Century in Germany, although the original author is unknown,” Doris explains. “It is traditionally sung as a choral piece, but we have adapted it to have a contemporary sound.” Good friend Sofia Harwell adds harmonies, with both ladies accompanied by multiple JUNO-nominee and Canadian Folk Music Award winner Andrew Collins, who not only produces both the single and the music video, but weighs in with his impeccable skills on mandolin and mandocello too.
“Isaiah had foretold it / The Rose I have in mind / Like Mary we behold it / The virgin Mother kind / To show God’s love aright / She bore to us a Saviour / When half-spent was the night.”
Recorded at Andrew’s home in Toronto, the artists may have been under the same roof, but found a way to social-distance appropriately by recording their individual pieces in various parts of the building. “Andrew was in the basement, and I was on the main level,” Doris recalls. “He could see and hear me through the cameras and headphones, obviously, but I couldn’t see him.” Filmed as a series of single and split screen moments, the music video offers a glance of all three artists, and of course, some great footage of Andrew’s mesmerizing instrumentation. “[The song] speaks of light and hope arriving amidst the darkest of times,” Doris shares, in closing. “Something that is relevant as we look ahead to 2021.”