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You would be hard-pressed to find a band who loves Christmas more than Idaho-based indie-pop band The Very Most. For years they have been steadily producing indie-pop Christmas classics, and their 2009 Winter EP is the strongest of the bunch. This was the last of the series of season-themed EPs, which were later compiled into the full-length, A Year with the Very Most. All three songs featured on the EP are extremely good, beginning with a fantastic indie-pop take on “Away in a Manger.” If the focus of your mix is to give traditional tunes new life, then I would highly recommend The Very Most’s take on that classic. The next two songs are both originals, which I very much appreciate. “It’s the Best Thing” sets the scene in the evening, lit up by the streetlights just as snow begins to fall. All is quiet, except for the excited shrieks of his giddy children. It’s a beautiful scene, so honest and so easy to place yourself into. I truly love that song. Finally, “When Does the Goodwill Start?” rounds out the EP, wondering (because it’s Christmas) when the goodwill and peace on earth will start. Its a melancholy Christmas song wrapped in indie-pop paper – truly wonderful in its execution.
Bottom Line: You can’t get indie-pop Christmas better than this. 5/5
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An Indiecater Christmas was Indiecater Records‘ first foray into Christmas tunes, beginning a streak that ended in 2011. But wait… set your clocks for December 1, because 2013’s edition is not far away! But I digress – 2008 felt like a moment in time where a wealth of comprehensive indie Christmas comps were coming out (as opposed to the single tracks that I see more frequently now), and An Indiecater Christmas is one of those must-have releases of yesteryear.
There are plenty of good songs on this record, but I will call out a few for review’s sake. The Very Most, purveyors of generally excellent Christmas tunes, give us the jingle-bell heavy “This Year, Christmas Came on November 4th.” A solid tune, that could sneak its way onto anyone’s Christmas mix without much trouble.
Jape and David Kitt (YES!) contribute an appropriately titled “I Will Cry this Christmas.” While I do enjoy the vibe, and even the song in general, I can’t bring myself to put it on a mix. Perhaps your mix will have different needs – because its an excellent song – and I f*ing love David Kitt. I wish he would do another Christmas tune…
My Teenage Stride‘s “Is it Christmastime Already,” has a vibe and production value that makes you think that it is already a Christmas classic. Any major-label band that wants to pick it up, cover it, and throw it on their platinum-selling Christmas record will likely make this song a holiday staple.
There are many other good songs on this record – but when it comes to large compilations, and with my job/child/computer problems, brevity shall be my mantra.
Bottom Line: Great price, great songs, why not? 4/5