Currently dazzling us all with her fancy footwork on season 25 of Dancing With The Stars, renowned electric violinist Lindsey Stirling will be releasing her fourth studio album on Friday (October 20). The question is, how does she follow in the footsteps of her critically acclaimed third album, Brave Enough? By releasing a Christmas album, of course!
It may only be October but Lindsey is filling us with festive cheer thanks to her new 13-track offering, Warmer In The Winter. Joined by a full orchestra and a few special guests, the violinist has delivered three original songs in addition to putting her unique spin on ten well-loved Christmas classics.
Kicking things off with a modern day version of ‘Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy’, Lindsey’s impeccable violin skills capture our attention immediately. Laced with an electronic undertone and an orchestral accompaniment, the song is truly captivating. Although it’s the first song on the album, it’s impacted enough on us to know that it will remain a favourite even by the end.
The next track is the brassy ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch’, featuring guest vocals from the superb Sabrina Carpenter. Whilst Lindsey remains prominent throughout the song, there is less of a focus on her and the violin as the brass takes centre stage. Sabrina adds a suitable sass to the song with her vocals, and we love her attitude throughout.
The guest vocals continue as Becky G joins Lindsey for the original song ‘Christmas C’mon’. If you’re looking for the ultimate sparkly festive track, then this is the one for you. Teamed with a poppy beat, Becky’s vocals combined with Lindsey’s violin playing will fill you with Christmas glee and get you reaching for the tinsel and mince pies. It’s been years since a new original Christmas song has broken through during the festive period, but ‘Christmas C’mon’ has all the right ingredients to be a future classic.
Following the bundle of joy that was ‘Christmas C’mon’, the focus returns to Lindsey as she delivers the mesmerising ‘Carol Of The Bells’. The result is incredibly stirring and we can’t help but lose ourselves in the song. The magic continues with ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’. Whilst we are only treated to the melody, the song is enchanting enough that you’ll find yourself swaying and singing along.
The Christmas cheer continues with the folk-led ‘I Saw Three Ships’. Alongside Lindsey’s violin, there’s an assortment of orchestral instruments which add a dramatic layer to the song. The track is also laced with festive bells near the end, which leads nicely into the sprightly ‘Let It Snow’. Accompanied by a jazzy edge, we cannot help but want to sing along to the iconic song which showcases Lindsey’s talent to the full.
The album title track ‘Warmer In The Winter’ is similar to ‘Christmas C’mon’, as it gives you all the festive feels. Joined by Trombone Shorty, the instrumental on the track is so powerful thanks to the mixture of violin and brass. We’re even treated to a Lindsey vocal which adds an extra sparkle to the song.
‘What Child Is This’ breaks up the joviality of the record, as Lindsey delivers her haunting version of the Christmas carol. The song is powerful in an understated manner, and similarly to ‘Carol of the Bells’, it’s impossible not to lose yourself in it.
Next up is one of the most iconic Christmas songs of all time; ‘All I Want For Christmas’. Whilst the track is melody only (we’re happy to provide the Mariah vocals), it is completely captivating. Lindsey’s incredible violin playing gives the song another lease of life and you can’t help but want to bop along. We also love how she plucks the strings instead of using a bow during a section in the latter half as it gives the song an additional edge.
The final collaboration on the album is also the final original offering, ‘Time To Fall In Love’. All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth is on vocal duty for this song, and on paper it’s a collaboration which shouldn’t work. However, it’s catchy and shows another side to Alex, whilst demonstrating how versatile both he and Lindsey are as artists. Once again, the fun spirit of Christmas has been captured and it’s hard to listen to the song without developing a warm fuzzy glow.
The penultimate track is ‘Jingle Bell Rock’, which begins in a jazzy manner thanks to the accompanying orchestra. Around the 1:36 mark, the song steps up a notch and becomes even more infectious. In fact, we are taken on a journey throughout the track, and whilst the violin is a little more subtle, it still shines in places.
Warmer In The Winter comes to an end with ‘Silent Night’, one of the most recognised carols of all time. Led by a choral accompaniment, Lindsey and her violin are subtle until the latter half of the song. This is when the song comes into its own, as the violin captures the iconic melody beautifully. ‘Silent Night’ is the perfect song to finish off the album, and reminds us of the true spirit of Christmas.
It’s safe to say that after a few listens of Warmer In The Winter, we’re now fully in the Christmas spirit. Lindsey Stirling has managed to capture the magic of the festive period whilst adding her own unique sparkle to proceedings. Despite most of the songs being without vocals, Lindsey tells a story with every song, often leaving you hanging onto every note. However, we also enjoyed the various collaborations, with each artist bringing something special to the table.
From the infectious ‘Christmas C’mon’ to the spine-tingling ‘Carol Of The Bells’ and ‘Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy’, there is something for everyone on Warmer In The Winter. This is one album which is going to firmly be on repeat from now until December 25.