Album Review: Lindsey Stirling’s “Warmer in the Winter” Blends High and Low, New and Old Sounds for Christmas

Every year about this time we get treated to the newest batch of Christmas albums from artists across the spectrum. These Christmas albums are often the low points of artists’ careers, money-making schemes that seem foisted on them by record labels.

But they don’t have to be.

And while (like everyone) I get tired of Christmas music at some point, I still have my favorite covers – including last year’s Kacey Musgraves holiday album (excellent trad country crossed with swing, soul, and pop).

Lindsey Stirling’s “Warmer in the Winter” is another genuinely delightful addition to the genre of Christmas/holiday music.

If you already enjoy her exquisite violin-playing and exuberant, geeky style, you’ll love this album from its cover art down to its playfulness in original songs like the title track. Her lead track cover of Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” has her signature violin-and-electronic style blended the orchestral sound of the original, hinting at how the album blends old and new:

But this album isn’t just good for Lindsey Stirling fans. It might be her most mainstream-friendly music to date, which isn’t to say she’s abandoning her sound. She’s growing it and bringing her unique style to the traditional Christmas songs everyone loves.

There’s a wide variety in the soundscape of this album, from the fun swing of “Let It Snow” (which delightfully samples “New York, New York” and other tunes) and the heavy electronic pop of “Santa Baby” to the epic, soaring orchestral music of “What Child Is This” and the straightforward bubblegum pop of “Time To Fall In Love.”

Guys, there’s even an instrumental of “All I Want for Christmas (Is You).” Now you can sing along to the song made famous by Mariah Carey with Stirling’s violin as your backing track.

Then there’s the cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” reimagined as a Christmas/Advent song. My Dad (speaking to Stirling’s growing mainstream-ness) became a fan after seeing this one, which debuted on YouTube nearly three years ago and likely formed the kernel of the early Christmas album concept:

If you want to start getting in the mood for the holidays now, you might as well do it with some new music. And you won’t be disappointed by this album:

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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