Christmas music always has a presence on the radio this time of year, but scarcely is there a new addition to the genre from an indie artist that feels worthy of comment beside the classics we all grew up with. While she’s still an indie starlet, Nubia Rose is sounding like an elite player in her new single “I Want Nothing for Christmas” and the music video made in support of its release, both of which are inspiring listeners to give this singer and songwriter a chance amidst a crowded talent pool filled with similar artists with likeminded goals this holiday season.
There’s a good chunk of old school elements in this single that immediately resonate with the traditional Christmas music sound; the sleigh bells, the festive groove, the upbeat tone of delivery, but none of these components translate with the same kind of saccharinity they would in a more commercially-stylized performance. You can feel the passion that this player is affording every beat in this single, and that just can’t be said for the majority of new pop music – Christmas-themed or otherwise – coming down the pipes this November. She’s crafting emotionality in these lyrics, not just appealing to a seasonal narrative.
Rose’s vocal is really delicate, but she makes it work next to the sturdy groove in this song wonderfully. Her charisma carries her a long way into the hook, but it’s ultimately her moxie for the verse that makes her execution sound so flawless, especially in the chorus. I’d love to see her live and find out just how much of this energy carries over to the stage, but even if it’s something that exists within the context of her studio sessions alone, I’m glad I came across both her and her sound this winter.
The rhythm of the instruments backs up the carefree vibe of the lyricism rather epically in “I Want Nothing for Christmas,” and had I not been aware of her background, I would have assumed this to be one of a dozen breakthrough singles under Nubia Rose’s belt at this point. She has the professional attitude of someone who has been in the spotlight for the better part of her career, and if she’s this good at the indie level one has to wonder how incredible she’s going to be when she inevitably rises through the ranks both at home and abroad.
“I Want Nothing for Christmas” is a feel-good anthem for the season, and if you’re in the market for a new slice of Christmas cheer on your daily soundtrack, you can’t go wrong with the magic Nubia Rose is serving up in this single. Between the visuals of the video and inviting tone of the song itself, Rose is putting on a masterclass in holiday spirit here, and absolutely making it a little hard for her competition to try and keep up. The bar has been set fairly high, and I don’t see her slowing in her race to keep on raising it anytime soon.
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