Right Hear, Right Now

'Tis the Season for Christmas Tunes Recorded by Phoenix Artists

I have to say that this year's local Christmas music output has been the lowest ever, so much so that three of the five songs here are harvested from the Taste of Christmas Pudding 2016 compilation. Still, I wanted to share Miss Krytstle and Steff Koeppen's contributions to local Christmas history, and the three songs from the compilation were three of my favorites and have been on repeated listens.

Scott Keo and Miss Krystle
 "Baby It's Cold Outside"
I think what I like best about this is getting to hear Miss Krystle on a jazzy standard outside of the realm of her EDM oeuvre. This is Miss Krystle's sixth music video release this year, following the release of her new full-length album, Woman In Motion, and it's simply adorable. Scott Keo sounds great, but it's Miss Krystle who wraps her voice around this song and owns it. I'd genuinely love to hear Miss Krystle tackle songs that show the dynamic range of her voice, or show a different side of it. It's a fantastic, albeit traditional, remake of a holiday classic.

Vintage Wednesday
 "What Child Is This"
Vintage Wednesday won this year's Proof is in the Pudding contest, and it's not difficult to hear why, with Taylor Sackson's voice commanding your full attention. Vintage Wednesday often covers Fleetwood Mac live, and it's simply because they've got the chops to actually pull it off beautifully. This is easily my favorite arrangement of this traditional carol, and it's completely on inspiring on a musical level.

Steff Koeppen
 "The Christmas Song"
Last year Steff Koeppen released an amazing version of "White Christmas," and this year she gives and intimate solo performance on "The Christmas Song." I'm a sucker for piano in the first place, but I'm also a sucker for Koeppen's vocals, especially in a warm, minimalist setting like this. I don't know if she's turning this into a tradition, but I kind of hope so. I'd love to hear her treatment on a number of classics. It's nothing groundbreaking or experimental, but it's just a beautiful holiday song performed faithfully by an artist who exudes talent.

Keli Rutledge
 "All I Want for Christmas Is You"
This song brings me to the edge of tears every time I hear it, because it is a beautiful reminder of the tragic loss of Keli Rutledge from our lives earlier this year. It is fantastic version of this modern Christmas hit, and Rutledge's voice give me shivers on ever listen. It's soulful, sweet, sincere, and innocent. Her voice was truly a gift, and this arrangement with guitar is simply a stunner. We experienced a great loss from our music community when she was killed in a car accident this year, and this song is proof. It is absolutely my favorite version of this song, ever.

Analog Outlaws
 "Christmas Is Finally Here"
Analog Outlaws released two EPs in 2015 and won the Proof is in the Pudding Contest in 2015. "Christmas Is Finally Here" is a pretty great rock ’n’ roll seasonal number, to be sure. It's got a great hook to it as well, which means that after repeated listens, it will be stuck in your head. It's one of the most impressive songs, because it's completely original and because the band hasn't even hit their 20s. I mean, it's actually such a good song that it's almost a shame that it was written to be a seasonal number.