For the inaugural Christmas Present pick, I turn to what I consider a quintessential example of the Christmas Present concept: The Bird and the Bee’s rendition of Carol of the Bells.
The Bird and the Bee are a pop duo that make some hauntingly beautiful music, as can be seen by this selection. This was an iTunes free download five years ago, and may be the No. 1 reason I get excited about breaking out the holiday playlist. The chord changes, the airy echoes, the beautiful singing of Inara George and the production of Greg Kurstin. It’s upbeat, yet fits perfectly into the holiday mood and is a lovely take on the classic “Carol of the Bells.”
They did their own take of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” changing chords all over the darned place, yet it works quite well. Unlike “Carol of the Bells,” this one’s not available for purchase.
Last year they released the track “Wishes” on their website, which is lovely like all their originals, but I don’t think holds up to the other two.
And since they haven’t done much holiday music to date, here’s one non-holiday song that I’ve been enjoying for awhile now. They’re working on new music, they’ve said, so hopefully there will be more to enjoy from them soon.