Out of sleepy Spokane, Washington, Alternative pop singer Jerad Finck brings us all the magic of a Pacific Northwest holiday in his brand new single “White Christmas.” A cover of the 1942 Irving Berlin classic memorably sung by Bing Crosby in the iconic film of the same name, Finck’s rendition of “White Christmas” is decidedly urban by design and sports one of the more sophisticated instrumental arrangements of the composition that I can recall hearing post-2000. Finck’s trademark vocal is warm and smoky like a blazing winter fire, contrasting beautifully with the icy synths, bulging percussion and stone cold tempo. I’ve said for years that Christmas music is harder to make your own than perhaps any other variety of seasonal pop, but in this single one of the American underground’s brightest young stars manages to do just that inside of a mere three minutes of play.
Right from the start of the song we’re assaulted with a snowstorm of pristine synthesizers that smack into us hard and proceed to stomp alongside a pulsating bassline. The sonic rigidity slowly gives way to a searing melody that creeps out from beneath the bass and soon washes everything in its opulent light. Finck serenades us with those unforgettable lyrics that have come to symbolize the spirit of the winter season, and the timbre of his voice is elegantly spotlighted in the master mix. The drums furiously gallop after the verses like reindeer guiding a certain sleigh we all dreamt of as children, but as intense as the instrumental backdrop gets Finck never allows the song to devolve into bloated self-indulgence.
As I already alluded to, the production quality of Finck’s “White Christmas” is simply out of this world. The vocal track is richly textured and as evocative as the imagistic words are (if not more so in some instances). There’s a dash of modulation added to the end of the choruses that makes Finck sound as if he’s crooning in a blustery outdoor setting instead of inside a cramped studio. As earthy as it may be, this single isn’t devoid of any professional polish – it sparkles just as fetchingly as anything you’ll pick up for your loved ones at a department store this December, but what lies inside its packaging is unquestionably more organic and endearing.
“White Christmas” has been covered by a lot of different artists over the years, but Jerad Finck’s self produced version has got to be one of the more unique that I’ve personally heard or reviewed in recent memory. It’s full of the same addictive swagger that his original material has built a following with, but it also demonstrates how adept he is at tackling songs that weren’t his to begin with and ultimately making them his own. That’s a skill that a lot of artists would practically kill to possess, but for Jerad Finck it seems to come quite naturally. His “White Christmas” is a terrific addition to the growing discography of hits he’s building as well as a wonderful contribution to the soundtrack of the 2018 holiday season. It’s next to impossible to be a Grinch when you’ve got a tune as rousing as this one playing over the family stereo, and that’s what this type of music was really meant to do.
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