Scala & Kolacny Brothers


DecemberPIAS ***

There’s considerable irony in the fact that release schedules are now chockablock with alternative Christmas albums recorded to offset the glut of traditional ones. When it comes to foisting seasonal sounds on us whether we like it or not, an album from Belgium’s Steven and Stijn Kolacny and their all-female choir is probably a safe bet. The ensemble has a proven track record with spooky hymnal takes on alt rock hits.

Here they focus their vocal chords on turning Joni Mitchell’s River, Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong, The Pretenders’ 2000 Miles, Damien Rice’s Eskimo, Prince’s When Doves Cry and others into Scala- friendly Yuletide odes. Sometimes this works (2000 Miles has never sounded as ethereal as this), though they are less successful with Sufjan Stevens’s It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad. Be glad for small mercies: at least Wham’s Last Christmas isn’t here.

Download tracks:2000 Miles, River