Amanda Shires’ ‘Gone for Christmas’ Is a Holiday-Time Kiss-Off [Listen]
Amanda Shires' "Gone for Christmas" is a wish-filled holiday kiss-off. It's the first song from a full-length Christmas album from the singer and songwriter, arriving in mid-November.
Slinky piano — somewhat a la "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," if we're looking for festive comparisons — stomps and ragged fiddle set the tone for "Gone for Christmas," a jaunty, snarky wishlist of a song. Shires wants "a massage on a beach ... a telescope and money ... a boat ... a pony" and more — oh, and her lover gone.
Her requests grow wilder as the song progresses. "I wanna be taller than five-foot-three," she sings before a musical bridge gives way to an all-out, gospel choir-backed finale. "I want you gone, I want you gone / I want you gone so bad," the chorus of voices — those of the family quartet the McCrary Sisters — repeats.
""Gone for Christmas" is a truth. You're going to ask for things for Christmas, so what do you really want?" Shires says. "I liked the idea of the outlandish mixed with how you actually feel. We actually feel like, ‘Oh my, I'm so tired of all this s--t, and I want a different scene.’ But maybe you don't want really that, but you just want to say extreme things. I was thinking of the ultimate Christmas list, and then at the end, I was thinking about how most of the items on it were impossible.”
"Gone for Christmas" is one of 11 songs on For Christmas, an album for those who like their holiday with, as a press release puts it, "nuanced reflection" and "a bit of goofball humor." Shires wrote nine original songs for the record, but also recorded her own versions of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and "Silent Night," which is a "darkly charged reimagining," the release describes, in her hands.
Shires created For Christmas with guitarist Pat Buchanan, drummer Fred Eltringham, bassist Jimbo Hart (also part of Jason Isbell's 400 Unit band) and pianist Peter Levin. The album is due out on Nov. 12 and available to pre-order and pre-save now; more details are below.
Amanda Shires, For Christmas Tracklist:
1. "Magic Ooooooh" (feat. the McCrary Sisters)
2. "A Real Tree This Year"
3. "Let's Get Away" (feat. the McCrary Sisters)
4. "Home to Me"
5. "Blame It on the Mistletoe"
6. "Slow Falling Snow"
7. "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"
8. "Silent Night"
9. "Gone for Christmas" (feat. the McCrary Sisters)
10. "Wish for You"
11. "Always Christmas Around Here" (feat. Lawrence Rothman)
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