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She & Him sing an offbeat spin on the holidays

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She & Him sing an offbeat spin on the holidays

Katie Sones

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Indie pop band, She & Him, released their Christmas album on October 24. Credit: Merge

Indie pop band, She & Him, released their Christmas album on October 24. Credit: Merge

“A Very She & Him Christmas” puts a sweet and airy folk spin on Christmas classics. Deschanel sings traditional Christmas songs, but the lightness of her voice changes the way the songs sound. Deschanel’s voice makes the music seem sweet, and the background piano is reminiscent of the classic Charlie Brown Christmas special.

Another feature that makes this Christmas album standout is the instrumentals. Christmas music often has piano music and loud bells in the background, but She & Him shake things up with their use of electric guitars and ukuleles. These instruments give the album a sort of retro surf-music feel, something rare in the decidedly jingly world of Christmas music.

One of my favorite songs from the album is “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which Deschanel first sang in the movie “Elf.” In the new version, she sings the tradionally male role while Ward sings the typically female part. The song is very easy to sing along to and has few strong instrumentals as well as some whistling in the middle, which adds a quirk to the album without taking away from the classic Christmas feel.

“Sleigh Ride” is another standout song; it has a country sound not heard elsewhere on the album. The twangy guitar solos don’t clash with the light lyrics and instead create a fun and new rendition of the classic song.

Some of the songs are a little too light, though. Deschanel and Ward have wonderful voices, but some of the slower songs can be a bit on the boring side. “Christmas Song” is one such example. Deschanel’s singing is still great, but the few instrumentals mixed with the long, slow lyrics make the song a little less cheery.

“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is another slow song, but it is far from boring. The song has a retro-sixties vibe and some more surf-music-like guitar solos to brighten up the slow tempo.

“AVery She & Him Christmas” is an endearing Christmas album with retro influences. It is soft and even a little slow at times, but the addition of “unorthodox” instruments and Deschanel’s unique vocals make She & Him’s latest album a fresh and invigorating take on Christmas.

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She & Him sing an offbeat spin on the holidays