The Molly Burch Christmas Album (Captured Tracks)
Reviewed by Alejandra Ramirez, Fri., Dec. 6, 2019
Similar to her earnest and retro-gleaned timbres that shimmer over wistful fixtures on Please Be Mine (2017) and First Flower (2018), The Molly Burch Christmas Album finds the Austin troubadour pining in holiday blues over echoes of soft sensuality. Dusting off some Christmas, New Year, and sweater-weather classics and rarities, Burch revamps the material with a stamp all her own. In Bing Crosby's corporeal baritone on "The Secret of Christmas," she buoys her longing atop plucked harp and floating, feather-light vocals. "Hard Candy Christmas" retains its country roots with supplemental slide guitar, while Mamas & Papas deep cut "Snowqueen of Texas" keeps its soulful groove and bouncing bassline while adding a Texas shuffle. An original twofer, "Holiday Dreaming" and "New Year Love," is a formidable companion to the first-rate lineup. The former glosses in sun-kissed reverb and snappy percussion, and the latter skips a gentle acoustic gait. Indie-pop fun and keyboard pomp reworks Wham's iconic "Last Christmas," and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" preserves the standard's jazzy stroll even as it enjoins a somber pang of slow-burning melancholia.