A part of the festivities for the holidays, we bring you our first listening list!
This is a short list, approximately 30 minutes long of some hymns that have a lo fi spin on them!
We begin with Ayana George’s a capella version of “O Come Emmanuel.” This R&B tinged version is almost entirely performed without instrumentation, except for a few percussion enhancements later in the track. This makes for a rich listen. Find more about Ayana on her facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/AyanaGeorge/
Up next is The Vesper‘s version of the ancient hymn “Once in Royal David’s City.” Bluesgrass and folk meet together in an upbeat and delightful take on this oft overlooked hymn. Find more about them on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/TheVespers/
Any lo-fi list would be remiss to not include at least one track from Sufjan Stevens. Odd, quirky, and overtly Christian tend to mark his music. He’s also released at least 10 Christmas albums, all of which have an interesting points of view, including one version of ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’ that sounds like a mishmash of a choir where the voices range from exuberantly singing, to some that just sound plain bored, (reminds us of family gatherings and youth camp). We included “Angels We Have Heard on High” from Silver and Gold.
A bit jazzy, all soul and this song sounds like it was recorded in a living room, Ernie Halter pours out a homey and wonderful rendition of “The First Noel.” He also has a facebook page, check it out: https://www.facebook.com/ErnieHalterMusic/
The next track in our listening list is by Isaac Shepard. This is an instrumental of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” that is reminiscent of Peanuts cartoon track, and has a simple and subdued approach that makes it a good addition to our list. Follow him on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/isaacshepard/
We included the song “Away in a Manger” by Mark Kozelek because of it’s faithfulness to the original tune and the arrangement of furious guitar picking that really brings a subdued and introspective nature to what is largely overlooked as a child’s tune. This is a wonderful rendition.
Slowcore’s darling’s Low have released a Christmas album, which “Silent Night” resides as one of their tracks. Slow, dutiful and peaceful, this will satisfy anyone’s lo-fi Christmas wishes. Their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lowmusic/about/
As we wind down to the end of 30 minutes, we enter the classic “I Heard the Bells” by Poured Out Like Wine. A bit waltzey, super slow bluesgrass, and droopy chorused guitars bring in this melancholy hymn in an honest rendition. Find out more about this group on their website: http://pouredoutlikewine.com/albums/
While not truly considered lo-fi, the rich and simplicity of Judy Garland singing another forgotten hymn, “The Star of the East” just seemed to be fitting for the end of this short list.
We will post another list soon on our site, digging up some gems and renditions of classic hymns, as well as some newer Christ centered songs!
Until then enjoy our Christmas list: