Sufjan Stevens, whose album Come On! Feel The Illinoise! is one of my absolute favorite chinks of music, released a Christmas album a few years back. It was a collection of EPs he’d put together as Christmas cards, and was a mix of traditional songs, odd takes on traditional melodies and original holiday numbers. About half of the collection is either repetitive or unexciting, but some of the tracks are really, truly incredible.
My favorite – and, ok, my favorite is different from year to year – is probably “Sister Winter”. There’s something about the way it moves through emotions; it starts morose, becomes hopeful, and finally breaks out into joy and celebration. Just like the season itself, “Sister Winter” is a mix of happiness and pain wrapped in the chill of winter.
(And ignore the boring winter slideshow. There isn’t an official video. Just listen to the song.)