It is that time of the year again, winter is upon us and a plethora of bands have begun to release their new holiday material and special edition bundle packs. All the forthcoming releases will be available in time to be placed under the tree in colorful, festive wrapping paper.
While not listed below, you can pick up a FREE 8 Track Sampler courtesy of The Black Seeds as they warm up the holidays with their FREE Christmas Sampler. You can download this for FREE by clicking HERE. In addition, One Drop released their Christmas Rendition of “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. Check the videos below to listen to all the Holiday Themed releases!
For starters, singer/songwriter Anuhea came out with her Christmas single earlier this month, titled “Come Back To Me (This Christmastime).” The single has received high praises thus far on iTunes, and will no doubt continue to do so. The track brilliantly displays the smooth voice of the Hawaiian native and would make a fine addition to any holiday music collection. In addition to the holiday release, Anuhea will performing in a string of shows in January and February, so be on the look out for a show near you. You can pick up her new Holiday release on iTunes by clicking HERE
Aside for just a one-track single, Cas Haley has led the way so far with the recording of his Christmas EP, Gifts to Give, which was made available in stores on November 8th. The EP puts a mellow twist on some Christmas favorites, including “Have Yourself a Merry little Christmas” and his original song ”Gifts to Give,” receiving nothing less than rave reviews from the iTunes community thus far. Haley gave fans his inspiration on recording the festive album to The Pier: “I have wanted to make a Christmas album for a long, long time. But, I always felt that if I was going to, I needed to write at least one original song to make my own mark”. In doing so, Cas Haley has put his own stamp on some old favorites and new material for the holiday season. You can pick up Gifts To Give on iTunes by clicking HERE
Heading over to the west coast for the holiday cheer, San Francisco natives, Bag of Toys, just recently announced the release of their new holiday track titled “Santa, Bring More Beer.” Although the album was recorded in vocalist Robert Tait’s North Carolina home, the single was born in Steve Cowgill’s house as a night of Christmas debauchery that slowly came to an end. The bay area band explained as much highlighting the eventful evening, “Cowgill had a little Christmas party going on at his pad in San Francisco. When the crowd thinned out early in the morning, we busted out the guitars to jam a bit and one of the stragglers announced, ‘We’re out of beer!’ That’s what inspired us to mess around with that concept of Santa being the one to restock our beers instead of bringing toys,” said Tait. It took another year or two to get everything together to record and release the song, but it is now complete and ready to be heard. You can buy Santa Bring More Beer on iTunes by clicking HERE.
Moving on down the coast of California, San Diego reggae band, High Tide, is also among those with freshly cut holiday material, with their new single “Christmas Time in Cali.” It is an easy-going track that fuses reggae and Christmas music together flawlessly, definitely worthy of recognition. In addition to this holiday treat, they are also working on their third full-length album, which is expected to drop in early 2012, so, be sure to keep High Tide on your radar in the coming months with even further material.
3rd Alley has released their special edition Christmas EP titled Broke Christmas, which will be made available via iTunes. On their holiday themed album, Adrian Young (No Doubt) will be featured on drums along with Trey Pangborn (Falling Idos/Long Beach Dub All Stars/LB Shortbus) on guitar, as well as Todd Forman (Sublime With Rome) on saxophone, keys, melodica, clarinet and anything else he could get his hands on! Todd Forman told The Pier “Zack and I decided to try our hand at a couple of xmas tunes — one original “Broke Xmas” and one remake of the classic Charles Brown hit “Please Come Home for Xmas.” Zack wrote and produced “Broke Xmas” and we added some flava in my home studio. Zack and I worked out the parts for “Home for Xmas” and we produced it in my home studio in Long Beach. Lew Richards and his madness at 17th Street Studios mixed them in genius fashion.” Needless to say, this album will knock your holiday socks off. You can pick up Broke X/mas on CDbaby by clicking HERE
Bringing up the tail end of our new holiday release mayhem is Canadian punk rock/reggae band The Salads, with their new compilation for the upcoming holiday season. “Christmas with The Salads and Friends” includes tracks from artists like Staylefish, The Johnstones, illScarlett, and plenty more. The album was a late November release and is definitely worth a listen during this holiday season. The 17-track compilation features a wide variety of sounds and styles so there is a little something on their album for all musical taste buds. It was released on December 6th via Maui Wowi Records.
Aside from new music for the holidays, plenty of bands put together bundle packs with recently released material coupled with fresh threads from their merchandise stores. Ballyhoo! is just one of the many that has been in the giving spirit lately, offering a new bundle of holiday merchandise for the fans. The limited edition bundle includes a t-shirt, a Ballyhoo!-themed holiday stocking, and a free instant download of Ballyhoo!’s rendition of “Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer.” Along with the bundle pack, fans also have the option of picking up their latest release Daydreams at a discounted price for the holidays. Availability on the merchandise packages is limited, so get them before they are gone for good by going to their Facebook Page
Along with holiday tracks, both Matisyahu and Jimmy Cliff recently released new music on “Black Friday”, and both are now available at a discounted price. For Cliff, the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee released his first studio album in seven years, expanding on his legendary musical catalog by releasing the Sacred Fire EP, through Collective Sounds. After making headlines this past week for shaving his beard, Matisyahu’s Black Friday release “Miracle”, a quick listen to the song and all of your attention will be shifted to his unparalleled voice and lyrics. The song is heartfelt, yet fulfilling, just in time for the Menorah to be lit. Matisyahu himself said, “I wanted to try to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday in a fun, celebratory song.” After the joy and happiness surrounding so many Christmas carols of the past and new renditions by reggae-rock artists this year, it is uplifting that Matisyahu’s “Miracle” has been labeled as “the greatest Chanukah song ever.”
Article By: Jason Gallagher and Kris Siuta
Holiday Themed Songs
Matisyahu – “Miracle”
Bag of Toys – “Santa Bring More Beer”
StayleFish – “White Christmas”
One Drop – “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Anuhea – “Come Back To Me (This Christmas)”
High Tide – “Christmas Time In Cali”