Mark Kozelek “O Holy Night” (2016)

Mark Kozelek sings Favorites cover

Caldo Verde
Buy: 7Digital (FLAC/MP3) | iTunes | Amazon UK MP3 | Amazon.de MP3 | Amazon.fr MP3

I consider myself a Mark Kozelek fan, and despite the challenges he continues to send my way, I still maintain this status. Thus, when a new Koz Christmas tune sneaks out, I feel obligated to make at the very least, a small mention of it. Mark gave us an entire Christmas record only 2 years ago, has snuck Christmas tunes on multiple live records, and he thankfully seems determined to continue to churn out little Christmas baubles for us to enjoy. “O Holy Night” appears on Koz’s latest, Mark Kozelek Sings Favorites, and simply said, it is quite lovely. The cover is certainly not a reinvention of the song (as I could somehow imagine Jose Gonzalez doing while not veering far from Koz’s guitar style), more so a faithful and lovely, traditional cover of this traditional song. The female vocal harmony provided by Mimi Parker (of the equally Christmas-loving Low) is that little bit of nutmeg that makes this eggnog tasty. Without Mimi, it might have been just a tiny bit… bland? Glad she is there.

Bottom Line: A tasty glass of eggnog, thanks to Mimi Parker of Low. Certainly not my standard fare – doesn’t hate on Christmas, doesn’t have any swear words – this one’s for you traditionalists out there.

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The Explorers Club “Christmas Must Be Tonight” (2013)

The Explorers Club - Christmas Must Be Tonight

EC Records / Burger Records
Buy: Free!

Philadelphia’s The Explorers Club released a gem of a cover last year, picked up by a number of my fell0w bloggers-in-Christmas, but worth highlighting once more for its general level of excellence. This is a faithful cover of The Band’s original, so nothing much has changed. However, this version does differ in subtle ways, best experienced during the chorus where they inject just enough energy to fill that gap I (personally) feel in the original.

Bottom Line: The Explorers Club took a great song, and upped the ante. 5/5

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