During a few different Decembers in Milwaukee Record’s existence, we’ve rounded up a mess of seasonal local songs that have helped improve the largely hit-and-miss holiday music genre. (You can check out our lists from 2014, 2016, two 2017 installments, and last year’s edition now.) That ever-growing and continually improving collection of hometown holiday songs range from ambitious originals to true-to-form covers of festive favorites to truly creative reinventions of well-known wintertime classics.
As of this morning, that last category grew by four locally made songs with the release of Amanda Huff and Steve Peplin’s new When You Wish Upon A Star EP. Huff—who is wrapping up a fruitful and productive year that included a bunch of live performances with her You Win !!! project, co-releasing the excellent Troublemakers EP with Vincent Van Great, and being featured on other local releases—and Peplin play together in a project called Strangelander.
According to Huff, the Christmastime cover EP was released “in an effort to re-contextualize this month and the music that serves as its wintry motifs.” With the instrumental accompaniment (as well as production, mixing, and mastering prowess) of her “truly dear friend and musical counterpart,” Huff’s incomparable and altogether incredible voice soars over seasonal standards like “Carol Of The Bells” and “White Christmas” to perfectly complement Peplin’s virtuosic guitar work and delicate percussion he employs throughout.
“You can only loathe something for so long until you realize bitterness skews everything and earns you nothing,” Huff says of the decision to reinterpret the aforementioned songs, as well as “Blue Christmas” and the EP’s title track. Even the biggest Grinch out there can get behind these wonderful renditions of time-tested holiday covers. Don’t just take our word for it, though. Listen to Amanda Huff and Steve Peplin’s When You Wish Upon A Star EP below.