Sleigh bells, a sultry piano, smooth electric guitar and a vocal harmony as rich as the winter season itself; in the new single “Christmas You and Me,” Linda Imperial takes these elements and mixes together a cocktail few will be able to resist. From an instrumental perspective, “Christmas You and Me” is indeed the simple and sweet treat that has been largely missing from the mainstream discography of 2020, but the fun doesn’t end here. While her backing band is constructing a soft hook just about anyone could get into, Imperial is weaving lyrics together softly, drawing us closer with an incendiary harmony sourced straight from the heavens.
Putting aside the common narrative we’ve been consistently contending with this year isn’t something a lot of artists in the pop genre have been able (or even willing) to do this December, but for this singer/songwriter, it would seem as though there was no other option considered ahead of her entering the studio. There is no pandemic gloom and doom to be found in this track – only a melodic reminder that Christmas is just around the corner, making it the perfect time to put a smart seasonal on the speakers.
We’re constantly being brought back to the vocal, which sits at the eye of the storm in “Christmas You and Me,” but I don’t think it would be right to say that it’s the only component of the harmony creating some gorgeous vibes here. The guitar part in the background, despite being subtle, is just the finishing touch the verses needed to feel modern and authentically emotive. The bells are nothing more than an accent, putting to rest the concept of using their chime as a centerpiece in any quick-branded Christmas music. All of the instrumentation here is fantastically well-produced with no one part sounding overindulgent or distracting; honestly though, I don’t know that anything could have taken away from the spotlight Linda Imperial’s singing commands. She’s a titan with the microphone in her hand, and this is one of the more natural looks I’ve personally encountered within her body of work to date.
Followers of Imperial’s music and those who are just finding out about her work today will likely be delighted just the same with what she has for the world in “Christmas You and Me,” which I rank as one of the better indie holiday songs out right now. There are no big props, bloated synthetics or outrageous filler of any kind to be found in this song – only a passion that bleeds into every element of the music from the lyrics to the beat guiding them forward. Linda Imperial could absolutely produce an entire LP’s worth of content in the style of this track if she saw fit, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see her experiment with something along these lines in the next couple of years.
She’s a versatile character, and if you thought differently before hearing this single, I believe you’re going to change your mind after giving it a close listen.
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