stream Phoebe Bridgers’ “Christmas Song” ft. Jackson Browne
It looks like it's becoming an annual thing to get Christmas music from Phoebe Bridgers. Last year, she covered "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," and this year she released "Christmas Song." It's a cover of a song off McCarthy Trenching's 2008 album Calamity Drenching, and Phoebe's version features Jackson Browne. Here's what she said about it:
McCarthy Trenching is singer-songwriter Dan McCarthy’s band. We played a show together in Omaha this last year. They named the band after the trenching company owned by Dan’s uncle so they could sell those t-shirts instead of having to make their own. The first time I heard this song it hit me like a ton of bricks. A lot of McCarthy Trenching songs do that. It’s not that often that I hear a Christmas song that doesn’t make me want to quit music. I played a show in L.A. around the holidays last year where I covered it for the first time. Jackson Browne was there, and he came up to me after the show to tell me how much he loved the song. A couple days later, Dan got a Bandcamp notification on his desktop computer that someone paid 50 bucks for his record and wrote a nice note and signed it Jackson Browne. He thought someone was fucking with him. So when I decided to record a version of the song, I knew who I wanted to sing on it. Plus, I have wanted to make music with Jackson as long as I’ve wanted to make music.
It's a classic-sounding ballad that sounds as sentimental as holiday songs often do (not with sleigh bells or anything though), and Phoebe gives it the same gripping melancholy that she gives her non-holiday music. Listen and compare it to the original below.
Phoebe has been busy lately with boygenius (her supergroup with Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus). She also recently released a (Sandy) Alex G cover, sang on new Conor Oberst and Felice Brothers songs, released a Tom Petty cover, and she's on Mercury Rev's upcoming Bobbie Gentry tribute album.