New Holiday Covers By Bnxn, Coco Jones, Armani White, Ella Henderson, Hemlocke Springs, Jeongyeon from TWICE And More Now Live Exclusively On Apple Music in Spatial Audio

‘Classical Carols Covered’ available for Apple Music Classical subscribers and highlights new festive songs arranged and performed by classical music’s finest artists
. ‘Carols Covered is back again with a new line-up of exclusive to Apple Music holiday songs reimagined by some of contemporary music’s most impactful artists, plus an additional Classical Carols Covered playlist, highlighting beautiful new versions of carols and festive songs performed by top classical artists. All available in immersive Spatial Audio.Carols are at the heart of Christmas and other holidays—whether sung at festive services or simply bellowed out at home with friends and family. Carols may be a part of our well-established traditions, but they’re also constantly evolving, with new arrangements composed every year that bring freshness and vitality to old favorites. This year’s batch includes new selections from Ángela AguilarArmani WhiteBnxnCoco JonesDavid ShawDikkaElevation WorshipElla HendersonGallant & Jensen McRae, G FlipHakushi HasegawaHemlocke SpringsJeongyeon of TWICELauren Spencer Smith and Restless Road.Previous Carols Covered collections have featured contributions from names like Amelia Moore, Ari Lennox, Arlo ParksbeabadoobeeBrett EldredgecharlieonafridayElioEllie GouldingEslabon ArmadoFletcherGIVĒON,glaive, James BlakeJvck JamesKatie Gregson-MacLeodMickey GuytonMuni Long, Ozuna, RAYE, ShenseeaShygirlSiR, Tate McRae and Victoria Monét,and Yahritza Y Su Esencia.And back to Apple Music this year, Classical Carols Covered, featuring beautiful, brand-new versions of carols and festive songs performed by a handful of the best and brightest in the classical world. The full Classical Carols Covered playlist will also be available to subscribers on the new Apple Music Classical app. This year’s collection features heartwarming arrangements from Maria DuenasOlivia BelliRandall Goosby & Carlos SimonThe Sixteen, and Xuefei Yang as they perform well-known Christmas music alongside a couple of lesser-known gems and bring their incredible musicianship to these carols. 
Carols Covered Track List
Lauren Spencer Smith, “Hallelujah”
Coco Jones, “8 Days of Christmas”
Armani White, “Two Front Teeth”
Elevation Worship, “Here Come Heaven”
Restless Road, “Mary, Did You Know?”
David Shaw feat. Keilana, “Male Kalikimaka”
Hemlocke Springs, “Christmastime is Here”
Gallant & Jensen McRae, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Ángela Aguilar, “Te Deseo Muy Felices Fiestas”
Jeongyeon of TWICE, “O Christmas Tree”
Bnxn, “Joy To The World”
Dikka, “Eine Muh, Eine Mäh”
Ella Henderson, “Stay Another Day”
G Flip, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”
Hakushi Hasegawa, “Wonderful Christmastime”

Classical Carols Covered Track List
Randall Goosby & Carlos Simon, “The Christmas Song”
Maria Duenas, “El Chant Del Ocells”
Xuefei Yang, “Ave Maria”
The Sixteen, “Bethlehem Down”
Olivia Belli, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

Artist Quotes
 
BNXN, “Joy to the World”
“My choirmaster would make a funny face whenever he’s singing, ‘And heaven and nature sings,’” Nigerian singer-songwriter BNXN tells Apple Music. “It’s like he tried to make a baritone voice and he makes this funny face and sometimes it distracts the whole band. That’s a memory I don’t think I could ever forget, because it’s a very happy one.”

Coco Jones, “8 Days of Christmas”
“It’s so impactful when a genre and a holiday really mesh perfectly,” singer-songwriter Coco Jones tells Apple Music. “I feel like that’s the foundation for a classic holiday song, and ‘8 Days of Christmas’ is a classic.”

Elevation Worship, “Here Comes Heaven”
For their contribution to this season’s curated selection of holiday songs, the Christian worship group reimagined their 2018 hit song “Here Comes Heaven” from their live album Hallelujah Here Below. “We’re really excited about having this version of our song mixed in Spatial Audio,” Elevation Worship singer Chris Brown tells Apple Music. “Knowing it would be experienced that way gave us extra creative incentive and license to throw unique sounds and instruments around in different places.” 

Ángela Aguilar, “Te Deseo Muy Felices Fiesta”
“I think that ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ is a beautiful song that embodies positivity and love and gratitude and a message of ‘everything is going to get better’—and I love that,” Mexican American singer Ángela Aguilar tells Apple Music. “‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ has always been a part of our Christmas playlist in the house, and it’s a song that we all get to sing, and it’s part of my childhood. This song has really grown with me.”

Armani White, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”
“I chose ‘Two Front Teeth’ because I used to have a silver tooth when I was a kid,” rapper Armani White tells Apple Music. “I wanted to find a record that could still bring that childlike kid energy into Christmas.”

Ella Henderson, “Stay Another Day”
“I wanted to produce up this record and do it very differently to the original, but still stick to the original structure,” English singer-songwriter Ella Henderson tells Apple Music. “I wanted to add a few more gospel elements to it, really strip it right back to just myself and a piano. We’ve got an incredible string arrangement on there, and I think altogether, it just has this really beautiful, minimalistic element, but it also extends to this heightened emotional state.”

G Flip, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
“I chose to cover ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ because I just love the song,” Australian singer-songwriter G Flip tells Apple Music. “It’s a banger of a Christmas carol. The Darlene Love version is really awesome, and her wailing vocals on it, how she just lets it rip, especially in the outro, is so great.”

Lauren Spencer Smith, “Hallelujah”
“I’ve always loved singing ‘Hallelujah,’ and there’s so many different versions of it that so many different artists have created,” Canadian singer-songwriter Lauren Spencer Smith tells Apple Music. “I love singing this song around the holidays, but as a kid, I sang this song all the time at singing competitions and for my mom in the kitchen, so I thought it would be really cool to do a recorded version of this as I got older for Christmas.”

Hemlocke Springs, “Christmas Time Is Here”
“I think music is one of the biggest reasons why I really enjoy Christmas,” singer-songwriter Hemlocke Springs tells Apple Music. “Christmas music just hits really hard for no reason. It just hits so hard in the feelings. Even with the song I cover, ‘Christmas Time Is Here,’ it can bring me into a happy, joyful, and melancholic state all at the same time. It’s like I’m looking back on memories that have happened in the past and also looking forward to the future. Christmas music just enhances those feelings for me.”

Jensen McRae feat. Gallant, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
“It taps into what I love most about all Christmas music and what I try to tap into in my music, which is this sense of nostalgia,” singer-songwriter Jensen McRae tells Apple Music. “It reaches back in time in this really beautiful way, but also doesn’t feel dated.” For this year’s Carols Covered, McRae opted to cover the classic track “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and enlisted some help from Maryland singer-songwriter Gallant. “‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ is one of those classic quintessential Christmas songs,” Gallant says. “It’s probably my favorite Christmas song. It doesn’t go too deep into the symbolism or the technicalities or the religious aspect of the holiday, and as a result, you get a song that, at least for people who celebrate Christmas, is very universal. It talks about gathering with your friends and family, being grateful to be able to spend that time together.”

Jeongyeon of TWICE, “O Christmas Tree”
“I thought it could bring back some sweet holiday memories for everyone while they listen to my cover,” TWICE member Jeongyeon tells Apple Music. “‘O Christmas Tree’ is one of my must-listen holiday songs. And it takes me back to those comfy times hanging out with my friends and family enjoying the holiday vibes together.”

*****

Randall Goosby & Carlos Simon, “The Christmas Song”
Randall Goosby (violin): “Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” has always been a favourite Christmas carol of mine. He’s the epitome of smooth, suave warmth—everything you’d want to associate with the holidays. I thought it would be the perfect occasion to blend the smoothness of Nat King Cole with the smoothness of the great Carlos Simon to create this wonderful arrangement for you all.” Carlos Simon (piano and arranger): “Of course, I thought of Nat King Cole, the swooning strings and the lush harmonic structure, but I wanted to create something that’s quite Debussy- or Ravel-like in my arrangement, with lush arpeggios and sort of a swooning melody line.”

Xuefei Yang, “Ave Maria”
“Just as good movies must have soundtracks to enhance the feelings, for me great holidays must have music to enrich the soul and relax the mind. I find the melody of Schubert’s “Ave Maria” so beautiful and touching, which is perhaps why it has been adopted over the years for many occasions, including Christmas. I arranged Schubert’s piece for two guitars, and I play both parts myself, using one guitar as my voice and the other to accompany. Lyricism is one of my trademarks, and this piece gives me the opportunity to really make the guitar sing.”

The Sixteen & Harry Christophers, “Bethlehem Down”
Harry Christophers (conductor): “I’ve always loved the music of Peter Warlock, and this particular carol has a special place in my heart—I remember singing it when I was a student at Oxford University. Peter Warlock composed Bethlehem Down in 1927 as an entry into The Daily Telegraph’s carol-writing competition when Warlock was in financial difficulty, and he won. I think that’s just brilliant! 
“Warlock’s version is just four verses for a cappella choir—what we’ve done is just add piano and violin interludes between each verse in a very atmospheric style. I think Peter Warlock would have been very pleased we did this.”

Olivia Belli, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
“God Rest You Merry Gentlemen” is not from my own [Italian] tradition, but its melody attracted me because of its noble and archaic character. I really like its implicit harmonic possibilities, which allow me to play between major and minor, between sweet and bitter. “In the holidays, we have our own ritual regarding music: in the morning, while we decorate the house or cook or wrap gifts, we love lively and rhythmic music. After lunch, which represents for us a moment of pause, we like to listen to smooth songs with a winter mood, while in the evening it’s time for traditional, sacred songs.”

Maria Dueñas, “El cant del ocells”
Maria Dueñas (violin): “El cant dels ocells [The Song of the Birds]” was made famous by the great Spanish cellist Pablo Casals, and is a traditional Catalan song and lullaby. The original text speaks of nature’s joy at learning of the birth of Jesus, with many birds gathering to celebrate. I associate Christmas with spending time with my family and having time to reflect, so I chose a work with a nostalgic and intimate feeling—the feeling of going back home.”

Carols Covered playlist link: apple.co/carolscovered

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