New music: Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler – Home for the Holidays

Yes, it's more twee than a Christmas twee, but at least these two know their way around a melody

As much as the festive season is about mistletoe and wine, children singing Christian rhymes, it's also about returning home to your family and seeing people from your past who only appear in your life once a year. This sense of rekindling old relationships is at the heart of Home for the Holidays, the first single to be taken from Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler's forthcoming Christmas collection, This Is Christmas. Comprising nine original songs and an obligatory cover, it was initially recorded under the moniker Sleigher, with sessions starting after the pair were grounded by snowstorms last December. As with recent Christmas albums by She & Him and Sufjan Stevens, there's a danger of twee overload with Home for the Holidays – "Let's meet up for a drink/ On the old park bench/ In the place we almost kissed" – but the endearing nostalgia and the fact that they both know their way around a good melody means the song should melt even the coldest heart. For the video – premiered here – the pair sport their finest knitwear in a lovely looking wood-panelled pub, their coyness around each other soon banished by mistletoe and a festive-fuelled loss of inhibition.

• This Is Christmas is released through Infectious Music on 21 November.


Michael Cragg

The GuardianTramp

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