Philadelphia music acts have teamed up for The Philly Holiday Album, a festive new benefit compilation put together by local musician Jon Pritchard.
The 44-song collection, available on the Bandcamp music platform, kicks off with Nik Greeley’s “Have a Funky Little Christmas” and concludes with Hey Slow’s “Silent Night. ” In between are contributions from indie rockers Ali Awan, Madalean Gauze, Stereo League, Dawn Drapes, and Trap Rabbit, and Hannah Taylor with Will Donnelly of Low Cut Connie, who revive the Saturday Night Live song “Christmastime for the Jews.”
And coming Wednesday, Low Cut Connie front man Adam Weiner — newly crowned by the New Yorker as “Pandemic Person of the Year” — is releasing a new holiday song, “Christmas Makes Me Cry,” on all streaming platforms.
They’re two bright lights in a blizzard of new Christmas music releases. And, yes, I’ve put together a Spotify playlist for your Christmas week merriment.
The Philly Holiday Album is a benefit for the National Independent Venue Association’s Save Our Stages fund and Toys for Tots. Pritchard does a version of Wham!’s “Last Christmas” as J. Pritch and is a member of Slomo Sapiens, who weigh in with the Def Leppard parody “Pour Some Xmas On Me.”
The versatile singer and multi-instrumentalist also plays in Taylor Swish, “Philly’s #1 emo math Taylor Swift cover band,” who do Swift’s “Christmas Tree Farm.”
He began working on the compilation in late November. “I miss my friends in the Philly music community,” he said, “and I wanted a way to bring us all together and feel like we are connected while we are apart.”
The album cover art, designed by James Everhart of the band Scantron, shows the Boot & Saddle, the South Philly club that closed permanently last month.
“We can’t afford to lose any more music venues,” says Pritchard. “I just wanted to bring some kind of normalcy to this crazy year, make people smile, and spread holiday cheer. If that can help us prevent another venue from closing, too, that will be a holiday miracle.”
The Holiday Album costs $15 on Bandcamp, where it can be sampled for free. On Christmas Day, it will stream free on YouTube.
Plenty more Philly-connected artists are active in the holiday music space this season:
Along with Odom’s, there are several other noteworthy new single-artist holiday albums released this season.