Roast Some Chestnuts & Listen to the Bird and the Bee’s ‘Put Up the Lights’ Holiday LP (Dave Grohl Shows Up, Too!)

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

In late October, The Bird and the Bee — the indie/pop duo comprised of seven-time Grammy-winning producer/songwriter Greg Kurstin and songwriter Inara George, rang in the holiday season (slightly early) with Put Up the Lights. It’s a collection of the pair’s favorite Christmastime songs, as well as a few original compositions.

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It includes time-honored classics such as “The Christmas Song,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Christmastime is Here” and “Little Drummer Boy,” the latter of which features Dave Grohl (a pal of Kurstin’s, having worked together on Foo Fighters‘ 2017 album Concrete & Gold) laying down some steady drum work:

One of the album’s original compositions is “You and I at Christmastime,” which Kurstin was especially excited to put out to the world:

“I’m so happy it’s finally here,” he said in a statement. We included some of our favorite holiday songs and wrote a couple of originals too. One of my favorite songs we wrote is ‘You and I at Christmas Time’ which was written through email. I sent Inara the piano part and I was blown away by what she sang over it.”

There was also a bit of 2020-mandated surrealism behind this project, which initially came about after the Bird and the Bee released Interpreting the Masters Volume 2: A Tribute to Van Halen in 2019. Unable to record together in a studio like normal, Kurstin and George had to adapt — and, in pandemic circumstances, that meant Kurstin recording at his home studio and sending tracks to George, who “moved her recording operation into a closet.”

“Working on a holiday record during summer is always strange, no matter what the circumstance,” said George. “But working on a holiday album during the summer, and a global pandemic, worldwide civil rights protesting, historical wildfires and the lead up to the most important election of our lives is really, really strange. Although, I have to admit, it felt like such a sweet little momentary escape singing “Chestnuts Roasting on an open fire…” all alone in my closet. It was a little respite from reality.”

The result is an airy and slightly quirky holiday-themed album made under the weirdest of circumstances. Listen below, via Spotify:

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