Christmas is a difficult time for many – if not most – people, even if that isn’t the way it’s usually portrayed by retailers and in the media. With that in mind, alt-country artist Andrea England gets refreshingly, reassuringly honest about the bitter-sweetness of the holiday in her new single “Jolly Melancholy Christmas.”
A slow, thoughtful guitar ballad, “Jolly Melancholy Christmas” is introspective without being a complete tearjerker (although you’re absolutely allowed to cry). Like many people, England recently lost some people who were close to her, and the loss has tinged the holidays with sadness over the last few years.
“I like to keep it real, as much as possible, in songs and in life,” England says. “When I think of Christmas, and the holidays, the first one is always the hardest when you’ve lost someone. Every ‘first’ without them is hard, not only for me, but for all of us.”
So have a jolly melancholy Christmas
It’s the best and worst time of the year
So raise a glass to good and bad
To all we’ve lost and all we have
At least we’re all in this together
Her first Christmas song ever, “Jolly Melancholy Christmas” came to England when a broadcaster from Nova Scotia, her hometown, asked her last year if she had a holiday song he could play during the East Coast Rising. She didn’t that year, but it sparked an idea.
“I thought, what would I write about? It’s going to be so melancholy – so ‘Jolly Melancholy Christmas’ came to mind.” Coincidentally, she had a writing session scheduled with two of her friends and long-time collaborators, Liz Rodrigues and James Bryan, and the song was borne of that session and that nurturing friendship. “They’re both very sensitive, emotionally tuned-in people,” England says.
Andrea England is an award-winning singer/songwriter; the founder, curator, and host of Toronto’s hottest songwriter series, Four Chords & the Truth; and has released two critically-acclaimed albums – Lemonade and Hope & Other Sins, the latter of which was produced by Grammy-winning producer Colin Linden. Andrea’s third release, Evidence of Love, is currently in pre-production with producer Hill Kourkoutis, and is slated for a May 2023 release.