Artist: VariousCost: You choose your cost (available as free download)A great collection of traditional carols and Christmas songs sung by an eclectic group of musicians, some of you might recognise “Jars of Clay” and “Phil Keaggy”Money raised by sales of this album will go to the Blood: Water Mission charity.
Artist: VariousWebsite: http://noisetrade.com/pastemagazineCost: Free DownloadI subscribe to the PASTE Magazine, it’s a great source of alternative and folky type music, the holiday sampler has become an annual release for them, spreading the holiday spirit and providing a great list of alternative Christmas music, this year’s favourites for me are Christmas in the Room by Sufjan Stevens and Christmas Night by Justin Jones.
Artist: VariousWebsite: http://noisetrade.com/andrewrippCost: Free Download (but if you choose to donate money all funds raised will go to Thistle Farm)A nice holiday release from Andrew Ripp, originally released in 2011 this blues/roots Christmas release will have you clapping along, joyful and triumphant. While this album is offered for free on Noisetrade any money raised will be given to Thistle Farms. Thistle Farms is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. As part of their rehabilitation the women work making by hand natural bath and body products.
Artist: Over The RhineWebsite: http://noisetrade.com/overtherhineCost: You choose your cost (available as free download)Probably NoiseTrade’s best free download of the year.Over the Rhine is a beautiful band, a new favourite of mine. They’ve released two christmas albums thus far, “Snow Angels” and “The Darkest Night Of The Year.” full of beautiful originals and re-imagined traditional carols you’ll find your ears will be blessed by listening to their music. “Snow Angels” is their second release, they’ve put it on Noisetrade as a Christmas present. You can download both via iTunes or their website http://overtherhine.com where you can also check out their other releases.My favourite track from “Snow Angels” is “Little Town”
4. LITTLE TOWN
O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy dark and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight
The lamplit streets of Bethlehem
We walk now through the night
There is no peace in Bethlehem
There is no peace in sight
The wounds of generations
Almost too deep to heal
Scar the timeworn miracle
And make it seem surreal
The baby in the manger
Grew to a man one day
And still we try to listen now
To what he had to say
Put up your swords forever
Forgive your enemies
Love your neighbor as yourself
Let your little children come to mePASTE Magazine (listed above) included Over the Rhine in their list of 100 Best Living Songwriters and wrote, “There can be no adequate labels for music this dense, this conflicted, this emotionally charged. Over the Rhine creates true confessional masterpieces that know neither border no boundary.”Over The Rhine’s song “The Trumpet Child” (available on another album) would be another beautiful Advent song.
Artist: BranchesCost: You choose your cost (available as free download)A great collection of harmonic acoustic Christmas tunes by a couple of best-friends turned bandmates.
Artist: Sufjan StevensWebsite: http://noisetrade.com/sufjanstevensCost: You choose your cost (available as free download)Sufjan Stevens has released two Christmas collections, one back in 2006 and another this year (2012) titled Silver & Gold. This sampler is a collection taken from the 58 track Christmas collection Silver & Gold .Grab this sampler album for free, and if you’re amazed by the eclectic mix of reimagined carols, original tracks and traditional songs then head over to http://music.sufjan.com and buy the entire collection (or the previous collection from 2006)
Artist: SleepingAtLastWebsite: http://noisetrade.com/sleepingatlastCost: You choose your cost (available as free download)A mellow collection of traditional Christmas carols and a couple of new songs.
Artist: Ben RectorWebsite: http://noisetrade.com/benrectorxmasCost: You choose your cost (available as free download)Beautiful vocal and acoustic renditions of Christmas classics.
Artist: VariousWebsite: http://noisetrade.com/themusicbedCost: You choose your cost (available as free download)An eclectic collection of christmas carols and songs from the likes of Katie Herzig, Ben Rector & A New Normal
Artist: Hilary GristCost: Free DownloadThis is a beautiful collection of Christmas songs, Hillary’s voice is almost too cute and old-fashioned, the accompanied ukulele & piano make these songs sound almost too simple. Her rendition of Angels We Have Heard on High has to be one of my favourite Christmas carols this year.