Andy Howells delves into the bag of Christmas singles available for the festive season and cherry picks three releases for 2015.
Award-winning Americana trio Red Sky July have released an atmospheric, beautifully orchestrated single for Christmas featuring Beth Nielsen Chapman. Save Christmas Day For Me is original and beautifully produced and destined to become a Christmas classic.
Blake & Dame Shirley Bassey -The Christmas Song
Incredibly, in her 60 year career, Wales own Dame Shirley Bassey has never recorded a Christmas song, so this unique pairing with classically trained vocal trio Blake of The Christmas Song is a bit of an overdue treat. It starts off with soaring strings before moving into uptempo jazz. Irresistible and very festive!
Another Welsh artist, Judith Owen and her comedian husband, actor Harry Shearer (famed for his work on The Simpsons and Spinal Tap) have produced a new and original collection of songs continuing the tradition of Owen and Shearer’s own Christmas gatherings around their family piano. The three track EP features two atmospheric piano lead songs from Judith very much in keeping with the laid back sound of last years Ebb & Flow album. The third track Too Many Notes is a soulful jazz inspired number featuring both Harry and Judith on vocals, well worth a listen, and maybe the pair should look to doing an album next year!
- A version of this review by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on December 11, 2015