So, this may likely be the highest-profile post that I put on this site. Nickel Creek are largely mainstream; They have won a Grammy, been on CMT, etc. etc. However, it is their proclivity for interesting choices, such as covering a Pavement song (“Spit On A Stranger“) on a major-label release, that gives me enough reason to bring them into the Christmas Underground fold.
After a seven-year hiatus, Nickel Creek returns with a record that also marks their 25th anniversary, A Dotted Line. This album has gotten rave reviews, as have their earlier efforts, and to my surprise, includes a Christmas tune. “Christmas Eve” is a breakup track, with lyrics by their guitarist, Sean Watkins. If you have a folk bone in your body, this is certainly going to tickle it. And if you truly love folk music, you are going to LOVE this song. The ending is pretty exquisite – their vocals – “Please darling wait / It’s not all over yet” – layering as the song descends… very much worth your time. No jingle bells whatsoever on this tune.
Bottom Line: Mainstream folk via an excellent band that are likely to be listened to for many years to come. 4.5/5