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Have a Warm, Psychedelic Holiday With Kevin Morby’s “Blue Christmas”

"There's something special about celebrating the Holidays in the sun," Morby told us, probably drinking a cold beer in the sun.
Photo by Adarsha Benjamin

On Christmas Day in Los Angeles, the temperature doesn’t usually dip below T-shirt heat. There are holiday markets decorated with fake snow. I guess people eat tacos and drink light beer by the pool. I am in constant awe of California.

Kevin Morby, whose latest album City Music was a brilliant, technicolor tribute to LA and its warm solitude, understands the strangeness of a hot-weather holiday. He was raised in Kansas City, where the nights get cold in winter and the snow is often real. So his version of Billy Hayes and Jay W Johnson’s holiday staple “Blue Christmas”—made famous by Elvis Presley—is warm and trippy, underpinned by a minimal beat and sung through an karaoke drawl.


Morby sent us a note about the track this morning:

Kyle and I have spent Christmas together for the past two years, so I thought it appropriate to record a Chris Kringle jam with him in his home studio. On Christmas Day Kyle [Thomas, King Tuff] usually dresses like an elf and skips around and screams "Christmas!" Every five minutes or so. Christmas in LA is a funny thing, it's usually about 65 degrees and sunny out so it always feels a little psychedelic that's it's actually Christmas day, after growing up in the Midwest where it usually snows, or at the very least is very cold. But there's something special about celebrating the Holidays in the sun. Anyways Kyle and I chose "Blue Christmas" because I wanted to pretend I was Elvis for an afternoon, and we had a great time making it. Truth be told, the whole thing was a Christmas Miracle.

The song will be one of 18 new tracks added to Amazon's Indie For The Holidays playlist, which has already given us this fun Charly Bliss cover of "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Listen to "Blue Christmas" below.

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