Chicago-based soul-pop artist Crystal Drake makes her mark on the holiday season with her jubilant Christmas Classics EP, Snowburst, out November 19th. Her undeniably sultry, comforting vocals take the spotlight on this project; she breathes charisma, joy, and nostalgia into every track with her refined style and delivery. From the jazzy groove on “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” to the pristine harmonies on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” Drake has something for everyone on this EP.
For the Chicago native, these songs represent beloved holiday traditions. She says, “these carols and the accompanying annual holiday preparations bring a sense of seasonality to our days, attuning us to the rhythm of our lives”. Snowburst is a gorgeous recount of Drake’s most sentimental Holiday favourites that reminds listeners of the magic that makes this the most wonderful time of the year.
The four-track EP is a collection of deeply loved Christmas tunes including “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town,” “O Holy Night,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and “Auld Lang Syne.” Listeners can expect a dazzling introduction on “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” with the simple, keys and bass-led arrangement behind Drake’s impressive, buttery display of vocal finesse. On “O Holy Night,” delicate strings and keys caress Drake’s glimmering vocals before delay-kissed, staccato synths embellish the track.
The second half of the carol’s production blossoms into a masterfully composed classical + pop fusion that will undoubtedly catch the listener’s attention. Drake mesmerizes fans with her pitch-perfect harmonies on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and quickly transitions to the enticing pop production layered behind the classic “Auld Lang Syne” to finish the project. She says, “[her] intention with this EP was to honor the melodies and historic integrity of the songs while modernizing them with phrasing and vocal arranging.” The final product delivered to listeners achieves this and so much more.
Crystal Drake is a soul pop singer whose earthy vocals have been described as “refined” and “emotionally charged.” Her powerfully earnest singing borrows from gospel and soul traditions. Crystal’s songwriting is thoughtful, grounded and moving. “We all need a little push to believe, to appreciate, to listen and to love.” Her soulful voice nudges us to feel and remember that we are divine.