With the impending holiday season comes a treasure trove of new seasonal music. As you’re preparing for the holidays ahead, crank some of this music up, drink a mug of something warm, and enjoy.
Sherman Downey, “Secret Santa”
Singer/songwriter Sherman Downey is celebrating the holidays with “Secret Santa,” a lively and fun Christmas single that captures the spirit of the season. His music embraces Folk-Roots and Country while at the same time flirting with Indie Pop; allowing him a broad appeal to an ever growing audience.
Downey’s highly anticipated second release ‘The Sun in your Eyes’ brought home Newfoundland and Labrador’s ‘Pop/Rock Recording’ award as well as a nod from SOCAN with the province’s ‘SOCAN Songwriter of the Year’ distinction. The album includes CBC’s first Searchlight Competition winning song ‘Thick as Thieves’ and other gems like ‘Annalee’ and ‘The Right Idea’; songs that have found regular rotation across Canada on Campus Radio and the CBC, as well as garnering attention internationally with airplay on stations in LA, Australia and the UK. His schedule includes a number of holiday shows; check here to see if he’s coming to an area near you.
Ian Foster and Nancy Hynes, “What Child Is This”
We recently premiered the title track from Ian Foster and Nancy Hynes’ new holiday album, but if you haven’t heard the rest of the project, delights await you. Here is their exquisite rendition of “What Child Is This.”
Begonia, “It Won’t Be Christmas (Till You’re Here)”
This holiday season, Begonia (Alexa Dirks) invites you to share the warmth of the fire, the glad tidings, and all the other cliches of December in the new single “It Won’t Be Christmas (Till You’re Here)”. Written together with Wes Marksell and Jason Crouse of the Darcys at a SOCAN songwriting retreat on Pender Island, B.C., the song was inspired by community and the cold.
“Wes and Jason’s production room was in this beautiful cabin overlooking the ocean BUT IT HAD NO HEAT,” says Dirks. “We were drawing a blank on where to start that day but we were freezing cold so we let that inspire us and decided to write a Christmas song! We basically used every holiday related word we could think of: mistletoe, snow, fire, gifts, reindeer, stockings…CHRISTMAS FIVE MILLION TIMES!. We finished the song and showed the songwriting group at the end of the day and a few people laughed while others said that it was kind of annoying and that they couldn’t get the chorus out of their heads. The holidays to me are about finding comfort in your community and also partying. I think this song reflects both our experience at the retreat, and the spirit of the holidays!”
“It Won’t Be Christmas (Till You’re Here)” will also be included on UK Website The Line of Best Fit’s Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada holiday compilation series, which releases its 10th Edition on December 16th.
Megan Bonnell, “Santa Needs a Santa”
Singer-songwriter Megan Bonnell shares her brand new original holiday song, “Santa Needs A Santa.” Co-written with her production partners Chris Stringer and Joshua Van Tassel, this song is about the complexity of being Santa. “If you think about what his day to day must be like, it’s probably a very hard and thankless job;” shares Megan. “Mrs. Claus has been spending the last few holidays with her girlfriends in the Florida Keys to escape the cold. After all their hard work, the elves and reindeer return to their families and Santa finds himself alone. No one is there to hang his stocking or put a present under his tree. “The snow and the cold, the growing old, the weight of such great expectation, the lights and the trees, the sled, and the wreaths, it’s all such lonely work when you’re make believe”… Santa most definitely needs a Santa.” The single has already been added to Spotify’s Christmas In Canada playlist.
Jess Moskaluke, “Winter Wonderland”
JUNO Award winner and Platinum-selling country artist Jess Moskaluke is bringing the holiday spirit to those on the ‘nice list’ a little early this year with the release of “A Small Town Christmas” on October 5th via MDM Recordings Inc./Universal Music Canada. The 9-song EP is Moskaluke’s first yuletide offering and includes collaborations with Cassadee Pope, Paul Brandt, Hunter Brothers and The Lovelocks.
“To me, Christmas is all about friends and family,” shares Moskaluke. “So when I thought about making a Christmas record, I knew I wanted as many of my friends on it as I could have. This record is a collection of the most memorable Christmas songs to me – whether it’s my favourite carol to sing, or my favourite track to listen to, or the song my Mom played on repeat during the holidays as a kid. It’s a fun, reminiscent project and to have Hunter Brothers, Paul, Cassadee, and The Lovelocks all on this record really makes it extra special to me!”
Moskaluke is celebrating the festive release with a holiday show at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre Theatre on 11 December; click here for tickets.
Sam Broverman, “Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis”
And now for something completely different…
For almost ten years now, Winnipeg born, Toronto based singer Sam Broverman has been presenting his cabaret show A Jewish Boy’s Christmas every holiday season. Initially inspired by the fact that many of the best known Christmas songs were written by Jewish songwriters, the show has evolved into a well loved holiday revue driven by Sam’s love for comedy and novelty song. After almost ten years – and countless requests – it was time to record an album.
For “A Jewish Boy’s Christmas” – his fourth full length album – Sam enlisted the help of several of Toronto’s best musicians, including his working band with Peter Hill and Jordan O’Connor. Featured as a guest soloist is Broverman’s regular special guest, Whitney Ross-Barris, the Toronto jazz and theatre scene stalwart whose wit is widely known. Ken Whitely – the multiple award-winning Canadian music legend- was invited onboard to produce the whole affair after his involvement in the inaugural show.
Sam has a PhD in mathematics from the University of Manitoba. He supported his studies by working as a professional singer throughout his university years. After graduating, he moved to Toronto, where he continues to be a professor of actuarial mathematics at U of Toronto, and continues singing.
Photo credits: Leeor Wild (Begonia), Jen Squires (Megan Bonnell)