“It’s 60 degrees so it’s not really snowing/I’m down on my knees and the wine it is flowing,” Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper sing on the opening cut to their tradition-be-damned holiday EP, Dear Santa …
“Christmas All Over Again” is one of two waltzes, paired with a bluesy plea for commitment (“The Great Romancer – Brooklyn”), a novelty tune and a radically revamped “Silent Night” that make up Puss N Boots’ first Christmas collection.
Recorded in studio (three cuts) and on stage (two), Dear Santa … finds the combo throwing a mouth-trumpet solo on to “It’s Not Christmas ’Til You Come Home,” the EP’s other waltz, and delivering a harmony-rich version of “Silent Night” on which the vocalists elongate the words and set the song in a twangy, alt-country arrangement that serves it well.
The hyper-danceable “Christmas Butt” would be great for helping jittery kiddos get their ya-yas out on Xmas eve save for the explicit warning it earned itself for lamenting the evolution of a once-religious holiday with the refrain: “Eat shit, commercial smut/today’s Santa’s birthday/shake your Christmas butt for Christmas Day.”
Jones, doubling on guitar and drums along with Dobson, makes her sparse, six-string licks crackle like a Christmas Eve fire as the rhythm section keeps it smoldering on Popper’s bass.
At just 20 spare minutes, there’s no room for cliché and that makes Dear Santa … a most-welcome addition to contemporary Christmas music.