Chris Farren “I’m Not Ready For Christmas (ft. Mae Whitman)” (2014)

Chris Farren - Like A Gift From God or Whatever

Self Released / Soft Speak Records
Buy: Bandcamp | Very Limited Vinyl | Limited Vinyl Repress

Naples-based singer-songwriter Chris Farren has a very interesting Christmas record coming out tomorrow. I can’t say I knew too much about him, but certainly recognized his “The Smiths” t-shirt that made the rounds earlier this year. This ignorance left me quite surprised by this first single, “I’m Not Ready for Christmas.” I either expected a punk or comedy record, to be honest. I was most certainly wrong. What I found instead is a wonderful Christmas song, chock full of the kind of regret that the holiday season can bring. You may think that I revel in wrong stuff… but come on, its songs like this that make listening to Christmas music palatable. If all you listen to are jingle bells, you are an insane person (or will become one). That said, this song is bound to bring up some lost love in your past, be it the girl you loved in grade school or the boy you almost married. “Maybe in another life we’d be walking down that aisle, / but under white string lights you’ll go left and I’ll go right, / and wish each other another silent night.” That part comes in right after he introduces this saxophone that completely makes the song. Tasteful sax, nothing like it. Lots more to read about this record over at Vice’s Noisy blog, including a rundown of all the guests on his full length, Like A Gift From God or Whatever, and an interview where he discusses every song.

EDIT: Just announced today (October 20, 2015) – Vinyl edition with a vinyl-only bonus track!
EDIT: Just announced today (November 6, 2017) – Randomly-colored vinyl repress of 500 copies!

Bottom Line: I loved this slice of melancholy, and the beautiful music only made it sweeter to hear. I only wish I could hear more (it comes out tomorrow!) 4.9/5


Christmas Mix 2014: Jolly Snow Sculptor Santa

Jolly Snow Sculptor Santa

So, it done. Lots of stuff that was released last year, as it usually is. You see, I try to get this mix done by Dec. 1, and most of the tunes come out later than that!! Tons of Nordic states are represented (as usual), and perhaps the sweetest tune I’ve ever put on a mix as well. Perhaps fatherhood has had an effect on my mix… but don’t worry, I’m not going to get all soft on you.

Jolly Snow Sculptor Santa from sixtywatt on 8tracks Radio.