In celebration of the album’s 10th anniversary, Craft Recordings is set to release the first-ever vinyl pressing of Holidays Rule, a deliciously diverse collection of seasonal music featuring glittering contributions from across the musical spectrum. Set for a September 30 release date, the album will be receiving a wide release in the form of a 2-LP gatefold set pressed on Translucent Red vinyl, as well as a very limited Clear with Red-and-Green Splatter variant, exclusive to the Craft Recordings store. Lacquers were cut by Dave Cooley at Elysian Mastering from the original hi-resolution sources mastered by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering.
Originally released in 2012, the set boasts 17 recordings of timeless holiday classics from artists including pop phenoms fun., the legendary Paul McCartney, indie-pop luminaries The Shins, Americana favorites The Civil Wars, adored singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright (featuring Sharon Van Etten), playful popsters Fruit Bats, bluegrass revisionists Punch Brothers, soul icon Irma Thomas (with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band), cinematic rockers Calexico, eclectic troubadour Andrew Bird, Latin neo-traditionalists Y La Bamba, Texas twang-rock troupe Heartless Bastards, alterna-folk standard-bearer Holly Golightly, roots quintet Black Prairie (featuring Sallie Ford), choral revival collective AgesandAges, Fiery Furnaces alumna Eleanor Friedberger and Seattle Americana outfit The Head and the Heart.
Holidays Rule delves into a rich assemblage of Americana, alt-pop, folk, electronica, country, American standards, singer-songwriter, New Orleans gospel, garage rock and more to create a melting pot of sounds that still feel like a cohesive album, rather than a holiday hodgepodge.
Some of the numerous highlights include fun. whipping up a distinctly postmodern take on the rollicking “Sleigh Ride,” adding a frosty techno swirl to the winter perennial. Paul McCartney’s velvety rendition effortlessly conjures the warmth of the fireside with “The Christmas Song.” The Shins, meanwhile, take McCartney’s own “Wonderful Christmastime” in a cheekily retro direction, turning the track into a musical homage to the Beach Boys. Wainwright and Van Etten deliver a fittingly seductive “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band collaborates with the legendary Irma Thomas on a soulful and horn-heavy rendition of “May Ev’ry Day Be Christmas,” while the GRAMMY®-winning duo The Civil Wars work their intimate magic on “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” with only acoustic guitar and their spellbinding vocal blend. Calexico’s “Green Grows the Holly” works similarly spooky-rural terrain (with their trademark border-town brass for expressive contrast). Punch Brothers’ mandolin-spiced rendition of the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is the most overtly religious track but offers its own set of unexpected twists and turns. On the album’s final track, Andrew Bird harkens back to his Bowl of Fire days with the violin charge of “Auld Lang Syne.”