The Brillboard is a curated list of fresh, new tracks by independent and up-and-coming artists. Tracks on the Brillboard fit a mood – sometimes broad, sometimes very specific, always useful to you. Follow for the soundtrack to your life, by artists you wish you knew.
This week’s Brillboard focuses on the holidays.
It’s the holiday season! Gifts are being given, cookies are being consumed, and most people are either on vacation or recovering from a chocolate-enduced food coma. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas – I don’t – you can’t go a day without hearing Mariah Carey belting out her wishlist on the radio. This week’s Brillboard is Christmas-themed, with two new songs and two recently-released covers. So rip open (or carefully unfold) the virtual wrapping paper and get listening.
“christmas eve alone this year” – Lewis Watson
Subdued sleigh bells and an acoustic guitar accompany Watson’s soft, shimmering voice to make a hauntingly beautiful song. This song is earnestly transparent and deeply self-aware. “[Watson knows] it could get worse than a music career” and realizes that this was his life-long dream, but none of that changes the fact that he’s spending Christmas by himself. We may not all be “writing music and selling out shows”, but we all have family or friends we want to see this time of year, and it’s sad to be apart from them. It may not be your traditionally upbeat Christmas carol, but this one-off single speaks to me on a personal level. It speaks to anyone who faces antagonizing “airport delays”, timezones, or other barriers that separate them from their loved ones.
“The Candy” – Grassy Spark
Grassy Spark is back to satiate your sweet-tooth. “The Candy” flows from electric to pop to R&B to something all its own. This latest track from Grassy Spark’s five piece group is genre-bending and sugary-sweet, and I’m 100% here for it. They got that flavor, and I’m glad they shared it with us.
“Hymn #101” – The Ballroom Thieves
Hymn #101 – a cover of a track initially found on Joe Pug’s decade-old song – is harmonious and heartfelt. The Ballroom Thieves transform this lyrical journey into a work that is much more than a cover; it holds its own, with tempo changes, tempered vocals, and a cello. Because Christmas can always use more cello.
“Wonderful Christmastime” – Blossoms
A fresh take on a Christmas classic. Blossoms is a pop-rock group from Britain that does wonders with an organ. If anyone can do an authentic cover of a Beatle, it’s Blossoms.