Bossa nova

grentperez: “When Christmas Comes Again”

If there are two genres that are grossly misunderstood by masses (and frankly abused) through pop culture soundtracks…they’re Christmas music and Bossa Nova. For the former, we’ve been conditioned to expect schmaltzy exchanges or comic Griswold-esque catastrophe. For the latter, it’s typically a toss-up between elevator music and sexy-yet-playful moods. But of course, both can offer much more heart and soul than we’re exposed to.

However that requires a certain caliber of creativity…like that of grentperez. In the short year since sharing his debut original, this Sydney singer-producer’s assortment of DIY pop has soared to the top of Spotify and YouTube, turning grentperez into a household name internationally. Back in February grentperez cemented his delicate vocal delivery and propensity for softer, expansive arrangements on his debut EP Conversations with The Moon, a trend that’s continued with a subsequent string of singles.

grentperez’s final gift of the year is classy atmosphere, Bossa seduction, and seasonal excitement all wrapped into a neat three-and-a-half minute package. Amid swirling strings, Hallmark-moment harmonies, and dynamic pop percussion, “When Christmas Comes Again” is a snowglobe you’ll want to keep out year-round.

Jeremy Lister: “Christmas in Rio”

Like so many others before him, blue-eyed, Mississippi-born vocalist Jeremy Lister first fell in love with singing in his childhood church. Fast forward to 2003 when Lister relocated to Nasvhille and released his debut EP Shooting Star and jump ahead again to 2010, when he joined acclaimed a cappella outfit Street Corner Symphony, who landed second place on NBC’s The Sing Off and earned the group a touring spot alongside Ben Folds.

In the decade that’s passed since then, Lister’s chops as a crooner have only improved, scoring the jazz singer a duet with Allison Krauss, a family record alongside The Lister Brothers, and several high-level commercial and television spots. The latest from Lister is Happy Holidays, Everyone (though we would’ve also accepted Meremy Listmas), a big-band full-length featuring ten outstanding originals. But if brassy mid-century swing isn’t your cup of hot chocolate, bask instead in the sunny Southern-Hemispheric swagger of “Christmas in Rio”!