Catherine MacLellan – Holiday
If we’re being honest, this holiday season may not be the easiest to ease into, as it’s our third year of life with COVID-19. Fortunately, Juno Award-winning singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan has released a new four-cut Christmas EP called Holiday that is sure to lighten some spirits.
It contains three classics: “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Blue Christmas,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” as well as a beautiful original titled “Calling You Home (for the Holidays).”
Catherine said she’s always wanted to make a record to celebrate the holiday season. In the future, she hopes to produce more songs, making a series of small, bite-sized collections.
This particular recording marks the first time she’s played the role of engineer, producer, and side-musician, performing most instruments on the EP herself.
“In The Bleak Midwinter” is a poem by English poet Christina Rosetti, commonly performed as a Christmas carol. It was written in 1872 and later set to music by composer Gustav Holst. “Blue Christmas” is a standard by any measure, which most people lovingly associate with Elvis Presley, and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is certainly a classic famously sung by Judy Garland in the 1943 film, Meet Me in St. Louis.
About “Calling You Home (for the Holidays),” the sole original on the EP, Catherine said she wrote the song during the Christmas season of 2020.
The original is inspired by feeling very far from family and friends, who she normally shares feasts and laughs around the kitchen table with. For her, she said, the longing for the ones we love is such an important part of Christmas.
It’s probably fair to say that the theme of longing runs through the four songs on the EP, rendered so beautifully by Catherine’s always exceptional voice. Pandemic precautions are still being considered this holiday season, and these songs don’t shy away from that fact, but also remind us how happy we will be when all of our loved ones can gather near to us once more.
It should be said that a real bonus for this EP is the video produced for “Calling You Home.” The use of vintage home movie footage of times gone by surely provides for an emotional roller coaster for anyone wanting to see their parents or grandparents remain part of family milestones. Well done.