Happy Schmoopy Christmas: Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler

Hooray, it’s the holiday season! I’ve never been a Scrooge — anything that involves celebrating, presents, singing, and lights is going to be all right by me, plus I’m a total sucker for the idea of magic-in-the-air scenarios. It’s more than a bit embarrassing, but I’ve long ago decided to just own it and try not to notice anyone’s (yes, I mean you!) eyerolls.

So with glorious Thanksgiving over, I’m in FULL ON CHRISTMAS CHEER mode now, and thus go all my obsessions lately. Today, the one that’s been dominating my Spotify account: Emmy the Great & Tim Wheeler’s This is Christmas.

I’m a longtime Ash fan, but have bemoaned the fact that Ash doesn’t seem to be actively making new music. I had heard inklings of Tim (Ash’s lead singer) making music with someone else a while ago, but didn’t pay it much attention till I saw recently that he was touring in December in support of the Christmas album that he and that someone else, Emmy the Great, released last year. Ever since I started listening to it, it’s been jangling nonstop in my head and ears, because it’s really damned catchy.

But beyond that, I’m truly obsessed because it not only celebrates but gleefully rolls around in the infectious sparkly magic (I told you I liked Christmas!) unique to this time of year. Emmy and Tim are also an item, a fact that’s actually relevant, as almost every song is a paean to Christmas romance: to having a special someone to walk with in the snow, drink mugs of hot cocoa with, and snuggle down with in front of a brick fireplace. It’s the tritest of cliches, but you know that I don’t care, and neither do they. Outside of a brief flirtation with sarcasm in my teen years, I’ve never been a lover of irony and too-hip-for-thou-ness, and the sheer enthusiasm and sincerity with which Emmy and Tim embark on their celebration of Christmas love is guaranteed to put a smile on all but the dourest of faces.

As I’ve noted, it’s available on Spotify, but a small taste of my favorite tracks:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URCNMEbgd_w%5D [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beBSv40QjkA%5D

And bonus Emmy & Tim adorableness (even for those of you who primarily celebrate this time of year as Alcohol Time):

(Image courtesy of Jeff Shanberg and My Czech Republic)


New Music via Spotify and IFTTT


I love music — not all music, because honestly, people who say, “I listen to everything!” are pretty damned suspect. While I have specific tastes, I also love ingesting new music at a fairly heady clip, to constantly enrich my ongoing in-head soundtrack. For me, there’s no worse feeling than being in a music rut… except possibly the sour funk of being between books (or, horrors, in the soggy middle of a terribly uninspiring book).

Anyway, the dawn of Spotify has been personally monumental. They offer a semi-restricted free version, but I almost immediately upgraded to the $10/month Premium version, which means that almost anything that I ever want to try to listen to is a quick search and click away. AMAZING.

Okay, but how to find new stuff without constantly scouring music blogs and the review sections of magazines? Here’s my secret: my favorite make-life-easier site, IFTTT (If This, Then That), which so aptly is subtitled “Put the internet to work for you.” IFTTT is magic, and makes awesome stuff happen. See here:

This IFTTT recipe takes info from an RSS Feed of all new albums coming out on Spotify, and emails them to me, along with info as to what genre it is. So now I have an email folder filled with info about all the new albums that just came out, and I can spend the day trying them out on Spotify to find out what I like.

Completely life-changing, and all it cost me was the $10/month Spotify Premium account (so worth it anyway, c’mon), and a free sign-up for IFTTT. And that brings me to my new favorite song of the week (video above), courtesy of the adorable new Brit band Alphabet Backwards and two of my favorite internet tools.