Shelby Earl's full-length debut, Burn the Boats, was one of my favorite local albums of 2011, and she's also a delight to follow on Twitter. Her ascent in my pantheon continues with the release of "This Christmas Is For Us," an original song now available on her Soundcloud page and from better online music retailers. We asked Shelby to tell us a little more about this tune, and here's what she had to say.
First let me start by saying, I LOVE CHRISTMAS. The holiday was a huge deal in my family when I was young, and has remained so my entire life. To this day, no matter where my extended family members reside in the world, they will drop what they're doing, put work on hold, and travel to a chosen location (usually in Cali) to spend Christmas week together. It's SUCH an epic deal to me that in this, my 35th year, I've never missed a Christmas with my mom - not one. UNTIL NOW! It's been a wildly exciting year of music-making in Earl-land and in crafting my plans for end-of-year shows, tour, recording, etc. I realized that a week-long trip to California wasn't going to be viable (the list of reasons is long). Delivering the news to my family was tough, but everyone understood.
Then jump ahead to me sitting in my living room just a few short weeks ago, when first snowflakes were hitting the ground in Seattle. I was sipping a cup of tea, pondering how much I love my cozy apartment, how deeply I love and appreciate my community in Seattle, and it hit me: I AM ALREADY HOME. My parents and siblings might be in California for the week, but my PEOPLE are right here! I picked up my guitar and this song poured out of me. I'm not always lucky enough to write that way - other songs take a LOT longer to come around - but this one just flowed. It's because it came out of a genuine excitement to be with my Seattle friends and loved ones this year for Christmas. I wanted to tell them as much.
My bandmates were awesome about quickly rallying to learn and record the tune so we could get to sharing it. Then last weekend (the 2nd week of Dec.) a crew including: Barb Hunter (cello), Faustine Hudson (drums), Anna-Lisa Notter (vocals), Mike Notter (guitar), Ben Obee (bass), Fidelia Schoolcraft (vocals) and myself all got together for a few hours in Gabriel Mintz' living room to lay it down. We knew it would be a wee bit lo-fi, but it ended up having the EXACT right spirit about it. Gabe did a spectacular job recording and mixing it - and it gave him a giggle to be the "bad jew" who spent hours working on a Christmas tune. I told him he was lucky it wasn't all about wise men and angels and infant kings. :)
So here it is, my offering of love to my Seattle people this Christmas. It's my "thank you" for the AMAZING year you've given me.