Release of a Xmas EP called Sunny Songs For Winter including 4 covers and 1 instrumental.
Looking back, I notice how the artists that have released Christmas albums were not the ones whose posters I hung on my walls. My adolescence favorites, like Jim Kerr and David Sylvian, never dressed as Santa or trafficked in holiday cheer. Instead it was French singers like Sacha Distel or Carlos dominated the holiday season of my formative years. Decades later as grownup musician, I began to appreciate some Christmas albums including Phil Spector’ Christmas Gift for You and more recently, Low’s Christmas. Even so, my rather limited sense of tradition prevented me from competing in each successive holiday season’s musical parade, through my band Orwell. Until now. Sort of. As I was searching through my sonic archives recently, I uncovered a few elements that inspired me to populate a musical village of song and create my very own (almost) Christmas collection. Here is what I found: The first song, in my gentle nod towards the season of goodwill, was originally performed by Joe Raposo, the musical director of Sesame Street television show. Ten years ago, an American record label requested I record a cover of by Joe. I chose the Flying (composed by Jeff Moss). As is often the case, the tribute album never saw the light of day, and so my version languished, waiting for this moment. Digging further in my crates, I came across a cover of The Kinks, Mr. Pleasant. My rendition is unrelated to childhood or the holiday season, but the classic Ray Davies playfulness of the tune made it appropriate for inclusion. Another abortive tribute project, this time in celebration to the subtle compositions of Stephen Duffy and The Lilac Time, left me with a recording of the melancholic Finistère, whose soothing nostalgia can warm even the coldest winter evening. This brings me to The Man With All The Toys, the only actual Christmas song in this batch, originally from the classic Beach Boys Christmas album. My version was originally recorded for the online compilation Pop à Noël, created by artists from my home base, Nancy, France. The cherry atop this seasonal sundae of sound is an instrumental version of À ce jour, featured on Orwell’s album Exposition Universelle. This song’s shimmering arrangement casts an aura of warmth that fits snugly into the silky mood of Sunny Songs for Winter. Jérôme Didelot