I have been listening to Emilie Claire Barlow for a while now, having discovered her on a trip to Montreal many years ago. She has just released her second Holiday album, ‘Lumieres D’Hiver’ (Winter Lights) and I think it is my favorite Holiday album so far this year.
Most of the songs are in French, and it really gives a different atmosphere when you are listening to ‘White Christmas’ and ‘The Christmas Waltz’ in French. One of my favorite recent Holiday songs is Wilson Phillips’ ‘Hey Santa’ and she does a great arrangement of that here, and yes, sings it in French. And she does a very minor arrangement of ‘I’ll be Home For Christmas’ that is weirdly sadder than normal. She includes some original compositions – ‘Le Darnier Noel,’ and the title track – and they are wonderful and evokes the same mood as the rest of her album. Her breathy jazzy vocals are the real highlight here, and provides just the right amount of warmth on a cold winter night.