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Welcome, friends, to the fourth annual instalment of A Very Erik Kennedy Christmas.

Here are the previous volumes:

2018
2019
2020

I take the work of compiling this mix seriously, because I take Christmas seriously. As an escape-valve for the pent-up frustrations of the humans of late capitalism, an end-of-year holiday larded with comforting traditions is the best resource we've got.

I'm really psyched about the twelve tracks that have made it into my 2021 compilation. As ever, they have been sourced from archive.org. I find this a productive constraint, like depending on a rhyme scheme to generate ideas. (Also, it means that I'm doing things legally.)

The headline is that there are some new influences this year, especially rocksteady and reggae. But there are also all the sounds you already associate with the AVEKC series: sadcore white jazz; old, improbably nasal country and western; wholesome girl groups; wholesome boy groups; crooners squandering their talents. It's all right here, in a convenient Yuletide package, as a free download at erikkennedy.com.

Totally unimportant but noteworthy: this year's compilation is literally one second longer than last year's. Also: I resisted the urge to include a recording of the Reverend J. M. Gates's short 1927 hellfire sermon 'Will the Coffin Be Your Santa Claus?' Possibly the best title of anything in English (and it could very possibly be the title of my 2022 Christmas poem).

I hope you're managing to stay engaged and un-beaten-down, and I wish you the very best. Enjoy the songs, and have a happy Christmas!

As a ZIP.

Or track by track (length 34.40):

01. Alton Ellis and the Lipsticks - Merry, Merry Christmas
02. The Mills Brothers - On This Christmas Eve
03. Victor Young and His Singing Strings and Clark Dennis - If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas
04. Joni James - Christmas and You
05. The Keynotes - The Mistletoe Kiss
06. Dick Robertson and His Orchestra - The Only Thing I Want for Christmas (Is Just to Keep the Things That I've Got)
07. Les Paul and Mary Ford - Jungle Bells (Dingo-Dongo-Day)
08. Half Pint - Christmas Vibes
09. Ernest Tubb - Lonely Christmas Eve
10. Mickey Carter and the Riff-Tones - Underneath the Mistletoe
11. The Andrews Sisters - I'd Like to Hitch a Ride with Santa Claus
12. Connee Boswell with the Lyn Murray Singers - When Christmas Is Gone

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