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Andrea England gets honest about holiday bitter-sweetness on ‘Jolly Melancholy Christmas’

Christmas is a difficult time for many – if not most – people, even if that isn’t the way it’s usually portrayed by retailers and in the media. With that in mind, alt-country artist Andrea England gets refreshingly, reassuringly honest about the bitter-sweetness of the holiday in her new single “Jolly Melancholy Christmas.”

A slow, thoughtful guitar ballad, “Jolly Melancholy Christmas” is introspective without being a complete tearjerker (although you’re absolutely allowed to cry). Like many, Andrea recently lost some people who were close to her. The loss has tinged the holidays with sadness over the last few years.

“I like to keep it real as much as possible in songs and in life,” Andrea said. “When I think of Christmas and the holidays, the first one is always the hardest when you’ve lost someone. Every ‘first’ without them is hard. Not only for me, but for all of us.”

Her first Christmas song ever, “Jolly Melancholy Christmas” came to Andrea when a broadcaster from Nova Scotia, her hometown, asked her if she had a holiday song she could play during the East Coast Rising last year. She didn’t, but it sparked an idea.

“So have a jolly melancholy Christmas / It’s the best and worst time of the year / So raise a glass to good and bad / To all we’ve lost and all we have / At least we’re all in this together.”

“I thought, ‘What would I write about?’ It’s going to be so melancholy – so ‘Jolly Melancholy Christmas’ came to mind.” Coincidentally, she had a writing session scheduled with two of her friends and long-time collaborators, Liz Rodrigues and James Bryan. The song was borne of the session and nurturing friendship. “They’re both very sensitive, emotionally tuned-in people,” Andrea said.

Andrea is an award-winning singer-songwriter and the founder, curator, and host of Toronto’s hottest songwriter series, Four Chords & the Truth. She has released two critically-acclaimed albums – Lemonade and Hope & Other Sins, the latter of which was produced by Grammy-winning producer Colin Linden. Andrea’s third release, Evidence of Love, is currently in pre-production with producer Hill Kourkoutis, and is slated for a May 2023 release.

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