I’ll admit I’m far from a fan of Christmas. Radios begin playing these tunes right after Halloween, depicting a winter so far from the reality of the slushy midwest Decembers and the hysteria of holiday shoppers.
Thankfully, Vocal Few’s Snowdrift EP is a refreshingly honest take on the season. As a follow up to 2015’s The Dream Alive EP, the husband-and-wife duo have returned to deliver more of that stripped down goodness.
Albeit five songs in length, there’s still plenty of territory covered here. From enjoying a day off from work (Ice Storm 2008), to battling through loneliness and literal darkness of winter (Not Giving Up), to songs of adoration, the EP finds the balance between honesty and commercialism.
The quieter nature of most of the songs conveys a bit of a somber mood, but the sonic negative space really complements the lyrical themes and allows for strong endings, like on the song Beloved.
The book-end tracks are the feel-good tracks, though touching on some of the stressful parts of the season.
Overall, this EP is a an offering of songs for the grinches and cynics tired of regurgitated commercialized Christmas songs; with naught more than acoustic guitar, bell trees, and the voices of Matt and Kristie MacDonald, the EP certainly can stand on its own. It’s a bit more barren and softer than its predecessor but definitely suits the themes. Only time will tell what the duo will do next.
For fans of: The Classic Crime, Sufjan Stevens