Paul McCartney signs up for star-studded Christmas album

Macca will be joined by Rufus Wainwright, Irma Thomas and others to record Yuletide classics for Holidays Rule

Sir Paul McCartney, Rufus Wainwright and Irma Thomas are among the contributors to a new Christmas album. Holidays Rule will be released on 30 October, through Starbucks's Hear Music label.

The collection mixes a handful of very big-name acts with smaller folk and indie acts, all of whom have recorded new versions of Yuletide classics. While McCartney croons about chestnuts, the rockers from Fun have sleighbells on the brain. In a tribute to their album-mate, the Shins have covered Wings' Wonderful Christmastime, and Wainwright laid down the classic duet Baby, It's Cold Outside with chanteuse Sharon Van Etten.

Other contributors include Andrew Bird, Calexico, Holly Golightly, the Punch Brothers and the Fiery Furnaces' Eleanor Friedberger. The lineup was selected with help from the Decemberists' Chris Funk, who said he was particularly pleased with a song called Señor Santa – a Christmassy version of Mr Sandman, recorded by Latin act Y La Bamba.

"I love holiday music," co-producer Sara Matarazzo said in a statement, "but every year I find myself going back to the standards. I wondered, where's the holiday record for this generation?" Ironically, part of that next-gen feel involved convincing McCartney to be involved. "As far as I'm concerned, I could walk on the moon and it wouldn't surpass [that]," she said.

A sample from each track on Holidays Rule is now streaming on SoundCloud.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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