"I thought it was important to address the profound disappointment I feel when extremist religious views are used as a tactic, either politically or moralistically, to diminish the profound spirit of the season." - Mx. Justin Vivian Bond
Produced by longtime Brassland artist Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett, the Christmas Spells EP features two holiday classics and a Mx. Justin Vivian Bond original. It opens with "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," a tune debuted by Judy Garland in the 1944 film musical Meet Me in St. Louis which has become one of our most performed and beloved holiday standards. (We offer it as an antidote to recent, modernized versions by Sam Smith & Michael Buble.) Next is "Remember (Christmas)," written by cult singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Says Mx. Bond of the Nilsson cover: "I love that the word Christmas is in the title but not in the lyrics. The rest of the song is a beautiful lullaby."
Finally the EP culminates with the stately and riveting original "Christmas Spells."
In many ways I love this story
of stars and shepherds, three wise men
of hallelujahs in the heavens
and angels radiant on the wind
But many people who believe it
have turned its magic upside down
they've formed themselves into an army
that bruises love and knocks it down
Says Mx. Bond of the tune: "I wrote 'Christmas Spells' as someone who was raised under the Christian tradition and who was treated with love and respect within my own religious community as a young person despite being trans/queer. I thought it was important to address the profound disappointment I feel when extremist religious views are used as a tactic, either politically or moralistically, to diminish the profound spirit of the season." Delivered as a kind of incantation celebrating the winter solstice, the EP's release coincides with the holidays. But these three songs are also (no pun intended) evergreen.
Produced by Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett
Engineered by James Yost on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Remember (Christmas)"
Guitar on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Nath Ann Carrera