Jenny & Tyler have been working quietly away on their uniquely crafted acoustic based folk for several years until last year they signed with Residence Music for the release of Of This I’m Sure. This year Christmas Stories sees the couple capturing the joy of the Christmas season with a mix of original, traditional and reimagined traditional songs that show off how comfortable they are in various genres.
The album starts with a smooth upbeat original to get you in the holiday mood, before laying the magic on. In the holiday standards, the couple ambitiously plunge further into jazz, and its hard not to feel the cold turning into snow. The vocal work is warm and cozy while the jazz guitar and string arrangements match any Buble number, lush and smooth, capturing the essence of days of old.
A highlight is the reimagined Handel’s Messiah. Now it is an highly risky endeavour rearranging such an enduring classic yet they have translated some key themes from the suite into their unique brand of Americana, while remaining sensitive to the epic sense of the suite that inspires them. In the Bleak Mid Winter and O Holy Night offer moments of reflection and hope; while the latter is beautifully and subtly reharmonized along folk/rock lines with the addition of a stirring new ending, that rises from delicate duet harmonies into an huge chorus, which finishes almost as soon as it begins.
So if you’re looking for a fun, smooth album with moments of power and reflection and tastefully reimagined classics, Christmas Stories is highly recommended.