What’s Going On: Tori Amos, Lights, Pentatonix, Command Sisters, Ryland James

In this week’s edition of What’s Going On, we’ve got more great holiday tunes for you. November is winding down and the countdown to Christmas is on so enjoy new festive songs from Tori Amos, Lights, Command Sisters, Ryland James and Pentatonix. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists for your dose of holiday cheer.

Tori Amos – Iconic singer-songwriter Tori Amos is out with her new single ‘Better Angels’ via Decca Records/Universal Music. ‘Better Angels’ is exactly what you’d expect from a Tori Amos holiday single – lyrics that pull you in and a melody that stays with you. Speaking on ‘Better Angels’, Tori Amos says: “With ‘Better Angels’, I wanted to acknowledge the year we have all been through and know that there is hope. We can find that hope within ourselves if we continue to focus our collective minds and souls.  We are slowly starting to find a clearer path to transform together for the better of all.” The gorgeous song is part of Tori’s upcoming new holiday EP Christmastide, a collection of four original festive songs that will be released on December 4 digitally and as a limited edition vinyl.

Listen to Tori Amos’ new single ‘Better Angels’ below.

Lights – Christmas classic ‘Deck The Halls’ has been covered by countless artists over the years and now it’s got a cover by Lights. The Juno award-winning artist puts her own spin on the holiday standard, reimagining it with big guitars, synths and a melody that would be right at home in late-2000’s pop-punk. On how her cover of ‘Deck The Halls’ came to be, Lights says: “This cover was originally for a Christmas movie soundtrack and they said it was too depressing and I said, ‘sounds about right.’ Happy 2020 Xmas!” In addition to ‘Deck The Halls’, Lights has also released a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ to accompany it.

Listen to Lights’ ‘Deck The Halls’ below.

Pentatonix – Mariah Carey is the Queen of Christmas but it’s safe to say the holidays also belong to Pentatonix. The Grammy-award winning pop vocal group have released the music video for their song ‘Thank You’ which is from their new holiday album We Need A Little Christmas. The touching ballad pays tribute to the people in our lives who have made this difficult year a little brighter. It also features Scott Hoying on piano and Kevin Olusola, as well as the quintet’s signature vocals that we’ve come to expect from Pentatonix. We Need A Little Christmas marks the sixth holiday album for the band originally from Arlington, Texas. If you’re a fan of lush vocal harmonies and warm festive ballads to enjoy by the fire, this one’s for you.

Listen to Pentatonix’s ‘Thank You’ below.

Command Sisters – Toronto’s Command Sisters, Charlotte and Sarah, want to ‘Steal Your Heart’ with their first holiday single. The sultry and seductive Christmas song was written by Charlotte and Sarah Command and produced by Marty Martino. Playful lyrics like “The Grinch, he already stole Christmas/ now I’m gonna go steal your heart” show that the signature fierce Command Sisters attitude can be applied to festive songs as well. The sisters, who have been written about on here before for their single ‘Lonely Lullaby’, are inspired by a wide range of acts – from Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Orianthi to Sia and The Weeknd and you can definitely hear that in their music.

Listen to Command Sisters’ new single ‘Steal Your Heart’ below.

Ryland James – Ryland James is further staking his claim as one of the hottest breakout stars in Canada’s music scene with his music video for his single  ‘A Little Christmas’. It also serves as the title track to the 21-year old singer-songwriter’s first holiday EP that was released earlier this month via 21 Entertainment/Republic Records and Universal Music Canada. The new EP sees Ryland James covering a handful of Christmas classics in addition to ‘A Little Christmas’, his original song. After releasing his self-titled debut EP this summer and having his single ‘In My Head’ peak at #1 on Shazam Canada’s Top 200 Chart, A Little Christmas is a great way to cap off what’s been a very pivotal year for the rising star. We can’t wait to see what 2021 holds in store for Ryland James.

Listen to Ryland James’ new single ‘A Little Christmas’ below.

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