Friday, December 13, 2013

Erasure puts synth-pop spin on the holidays

When I think of Christmas music I do not think of British electronic duo Erasure. However, if the above music video is any indication, the pair of Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have created some of the best holiday music in recent memory on its new Christmas album "Snow Globe." I like when music that's associated with a holiday can expand beyond its allotted time of year in meaning, scope, and musicality. I just clicked on the video for the track "Make It Wonderful" without reading the description and only realized toward the end that I was watching a Christmas song. Some of "Snow Globe" is like that, while others - their version of "Silent Night" for instance - are familiar, if different from versions you've heard before.

In little over three minutes the short for "Make It Wonderful" tells a story and translates the true spirit of the holidays through  redemption and renewal (and that synth-driven car is pretty sweet).

"Snow Globe" is a collection of originals and Erasure's synth-pop take on seasonal classics like "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" and "White Christmas." The combination of arrangements and the group's signature synthesizers often give their versions a balance of dark and serious and bright and playful - which really does encompass what the holidays are really like. It's not all tinsel and mistletoe for everyone.

Erasure created unique components for the project leading up to the holidays as well. There's the festive countdown here and a Snap App where you can photograph yourself inside Erasure's snowglobe. Go to to download the app. You can also stream the entire preview on YouTube.

Oh and here's Bell and Clarke with the claymation cast of "Wonderful."