Every Tuesday, Torontoist scours record store shelves in search of the city’s most notable new releases and brings you the best—or sometimes just the biggest—of what we’ve heard in Sound Advice.
We’re in the thick of it now: mad rushes to malls and endless trays of cheese and probably a festive beverage or two. But just before you have those few days of quiet(ish) time at the end of all the preparations, Zunior Records has a last-minute addition to your holidays—and to the holidays of the people who visited the Daily Bread Food Bank over one million times in 2009—with Peanuts Christmas: The 2009 Zunior Holiday Album, a digital-only Canadian indie-rock remake of the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s perfect original soundtrack. Oh, and in case you haven’t guessed, your nine-dollar purchase will help feed more families in the GTA this Christmas and in the upcoming months.
Even Charlie Brown could smile at all the awesome that was rounded up for this disc; leading the pack is Toronto’s Don Kerr and co. on a take of “O Tennenbaum” (streaming to the right!), whose tasteful beats and subtle distorted guitars put such an uplifting spin on the original, you may never want to contemplate the meaning of Christmas again, and Vancouver’s The Awkward Stage do a sweet jazzy version of “Christmas Time is Here” that preserves the familiar underlying melancholy key to any Peanuts production. Lots of Haligonians contribute their time and talent, too; Jill Barber lends her distinctive old-timey pin-up country croon to “The Christmas Song,” and former Inbred Mike O’Neill dishes out some cute “bah-bahs” on the whimsical indie-rock instrumental “Skating.” The album takes on an almost Mothersbaugh-score tone as Cuff the Duke frontman Wayne Petti twangs out his instrumental version of “What Child Is This,” again adding a touch of inherent sombre blockhead tone that’s just quirky enough to fit.
Whether you plan on using it as the (coolest) soundtrack for your holiday party times or just calming headphone walking music, Peanuts Christmas would be worth your few disposable dollars even if it wasn’t for a good cause and at just the right time.