Unless you happen to belong to one of those rare, perfect, Norman Rockwell families, spending the holidays with your loved ones can have its ups and downs, its highs and lows – this Christmas album which benefits Amnesty International serves as a soundtrack to such an experience, documenting and representing the entire spectrum of emotions and feelings you might face during the most wonderful time of the year.
Wanting to avoid an overly cheery tone, and instead provide a more realistic, somewhat somber feel, I’ll Stay ‘Til After Christmas compiler Daniel Gill chose artists for this album who would paint an audio portrait not of present day Christmas celebrations, but rather hazy memories of childhood Christmas experiences and the often bittersweet emotions that accompany them.
Appropriately enough, Au Revoir Simone opens the album with a perfect cover of the Vince Guaraldi classic “Christmastime is Here” and Le Loup follows with a dark and haunting take on the traditional “Shenandoah.” Jimmy Tamborello’s pre-Postal Service group Figurine offers up “The Holidays Behind Us,” a break-up song about a couple that calls it quits just as the holiday season is beginning. Other stand out tracks are My Brightest Diamond’s “Nature Boy,” No Kids take on “Another Winter in a Summer Town” which is taken from the musical Grey Gardens, Blitzen Trapper’s “Christmas is Coming Soon” and Au’s bizarre take on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” The album also includes tracks from Arthur & Yu, Parenthetical Girls, Radar Bros., Man of Arms (the new solo project of Kevin Robinson of Viva Voce and Blue Giant), The Papercuts, Bosque Brown and Turk Dietrich of Belong.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
I’ll Stay ‘Til After Christmas is a homespun affair if there ever was one – the idea for the album came from a recent tradition that Gill and his wife Reda Rountree have had for the past several years where they would make a compilation CD of Christmas music to give out as a gift to friends and family – and, since the two are friends with plenty of musicians, they decided to compile an original Christmas album to share with the masses. The album cover was also designed by Rountree and the photo on the cover was taken by Gill’s younger brother, Andrew.
I’ll Stay ‘Til After Christmas
Street date: Dec. 02, 2008
1. Au Revoir Simone – Christmastime is Here
2. Le Loup – Shenandoah
3. Figurine – The Holidays Behind Us
4. Sally Shapiro – Anorak Christmas (Piano Mix)
5. Arthur & Yu – My White Elephant
6. My Brightest Diamond – Nature Boy
7. Parenthetical Girls – Festive Friends (Forever)
8. No Kids – Another Winter In a Summer Town
9. Radar Bros. – Baby Jesus
10. Blitzen Trapper – Christmas Is Coming Soon
11. Man of Arms – It’s Christmastime and Everything’s Wrong
12. Au – I’ll Be Home For Christmas
13. The Papercuts – Go Tell It On The Mountain
14. Bosque Brown – Silent Night
15. Turk Dietrich of Belong – Blue Christmas