Premiere: The Heathen and the Holy “It’s Just Not Christmas Without You (In It)” (2018)

Self Released
Buy: Bandcamp7Digital (soon) | iTunes | Amazon MP3

The Heathen and the Holy, the seasonal project of classically-trained violinist Tom Hobden and musician/writer/producer Fred Abbott, who once recorded together in the much-missed folk/rock band Noah and the Whale, are back once again! The Heathen and the Holy are one of those Christmas treats that you hope for each year, as their songs always bring a bit of levity to what can become a very serious and earnest season. Not saying that these guys can’t be both serious and earnest, but there is always humor that helps take the edge off. So let this song be your snowy day, afternoon gin and tonic, and let’s premiere this great new Heathen and the Holy track together.

“It’s Just Not Christmas Without You (In It)” is about having to be apart for Christmas, and how that separation casts a pall over the entire holiday. Heavy! What was I just saying about levity? Well, no worries there – upbeat orchestration, along with Fred Abbott’s interjections keep you smiling through the pain. There are some truly fantastic parts; my favorite being when Tom and Fred begin trading lines toward the end of the song, culminating in a crescendo where they both sing “They take me back to Regent street to the Christmas lights tonightttttttt.” It is a theatrical moment, which if you have seen any of their previous videos, is no surprise. I love this band equally for their music, as well as for the brilliant videos that they have put together in the past. It is hard not to think of Tom and Fred, dressed in their holiday best with a drink in-hand… somehow still playing instrument… you know, because of the magic of Christmas. The Heathen and the Holy are truly the mulled wine of Christmas bands – a warm, cozy, delicious treat that somehow always seems to present itself at the exact right time. Cheers.

Bottom Line: The Heathen and the Holy have kept their Christmas flame burning bright with “It’s Just Not Christmas Without You (In It).”


The Heathen and the Holy “When Christmas Comes Around” (2017)

The Heathen and the Holy "When Christmas Comes Around"

Self Released
Buy: 7Digital (soon?) | iTunes | Amazon MP3 | MP3 | MP3 | MP3

The Heathen and the Holy, the seasonal project of Tom Hobden and Fred Abbott of the much-missed folk/rock band Noah and the Whale, are back with their fourth Christmas song in a row! “When Christmas Comes Around” has the same joyful production that you expect from the Heathen and the Holy, without the dash of sorrow that last year’s “Best Christmas Yet” held. There are bits of comedy, a dash of bitterness, but all in the service of celebrating of the season. The chorus sums up the song perfectly: “It’s Christmas, yeah it’s Christmas. / Remember how it feels. / Look around, you’re in it now – / tell me it’s not real. / It’s the gift that keeps on giving, / it never lets you down. / For just one day your troubles fade / when Christmas comes around.” The video is equally joyful, and as always, extremely well made and endearing. The Heathen and the Holy truly love Christmas; you hear it in their music, and see it in their faces. Throw it on, smile, and get in the spirit.

Bottom Line: The Heathen and the Holy’s love of Christmas and pop sensibilities infuse this song with infectious joy.


The Heathen and The Holy “Best Christmas Yet” (2016)

The Heathen and the Holy - Best Christmas Yet

Self Released
Buy: iTunes | MP3 | MP3 | MP3

The Heathen and The Holy are a seasonal project from Noah and the Whale’s Fred Abbott and Tom Hobden. So far, this is their third year, and with their pedigree you might expect a bit of new folk-infusion into the music. Surprisingly enough, Fred and Tom embrace the classical large production values of Christmas tracks of yore. Choirs, pianos, backup singers and big, swinging melodies. This year’s soulful jam isn’t normally what I’d get into musically, but damn if I’m not feeling these lyrics and their overall attitude.. “We’ve lost our way / (break down the walls) / Gave into hate / (open the doors) / It’s been a year / a year to forget / so let’s have ourselves / the best Christmas yet.” This song kind of sums up the year, the folks we’ve lost, the faith in our brothers and sisters that has been shaken, the year that awaits you on the other side… it’s all so heavy this year. Perhaps this song can do a bit to release the tension.

It’s been too hellish a year.

Bottom line: The Heathen and The Holy have provided the first real political song that rises above gimmicks or snapchat. Certainly worth your time, and perhaps worth a spot on your mix…