Margaret Dorn and The Accidentals Release “A Capella Holiday Classics”
Margaret Dorn and The Accidentals have definitely made the ‘nice list’ this holiday season. Their new album, A Capella Holiday Classics, is an expansive listening experience from start to finish. From the opener “Angels We Have Heard On High” to the giddy “Jingle Bells” to the breathtaking “Silent Night” and to the closer, “Winter In Manhattan”, Margaret Dorn and The Accidentals signal that winter is here, and the emotive power that is found in these carols are universally loved. Startlingly real, their voices linger for hours.
Around this time of year, holiday and Christmas carols seem to pop up from various artists and bands – the exception to the ordinary in this case is that these all-voices and no instruments records are both a throw-back and emphasis on artistry. I’m not saying guitarists or piano players are not as artistic if they don’t sing, or if you go to a symphony and because there are no singers, it’s not as good of a concert. I think a capella voices are inspiring and the tones and ranges presented in these tracks are absolutely wonderful. You forget that there isn’t a backing music, or a music bedrock. It’s just you and their pristine voices. I suppose too, it feels authentic to me that the voices are stripped down and not relying on any sort of fabrication or auto tune.
Two songs that really stood out to me and seemed to have the most momentum behind them are “I Wonder As I Wander” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful”. “I Wonder As I Wander” at first didn’t feel like a carol to me, rather it felt like a winter song. There really aren’t a great deal of lyrics in this hit, and the entire time the vocals are churning, you start to feel like a speck in the universe. I imagined myself out on a cold winter’s night, but the mountains and marveling at the world around us. This song does so much, so subtly.
“O Come All Ye Faithful” is certainly not new either. Margaret Dorn and The Accidentals take great pride in their harmonies -the depths that their ranges soar is enviable. This traditional take is brave. ‘Tis the season for tradition and for any semblance of normalcy. Perhaps that is why people love Christmas music so much – it’s reliable. I personally yearn for a slower time, calmer time during the holidays. The songs on A Capella Holiday Classics make the moments last and you want to treasure each of them just a bit longer. It’s like hugging a loved family member – you don’t want to let go too soon.
With more than two dozen tracks found on A Capella Holiday Classics, audiences will be thrilled to find their traditional holiday wrapped with goodness. A special shoutout, too, to the always-fun song “Ding Dong! Merrily On High”. It’s not as popular as most, and always gets me smiling when I hear it. Margaret Dorn and The Accidentals cultivate a sound with their voices that resonates year round. What a gift.