Composer Michael Giacchino Pulls Collectively a New Christmas Basic
This song is so, so good.
Even without any new movies, Academy Award-winning composer Michael Giacchino is having a hell of a year. Earlier this fall Giacchino, who has composed the unforgettable scores to Lost, Up, and Bad Times at the El Royale (among many, many others), released the brilliant Travelogue, Vol 1., his spacey first solo album of non-soundtrack material (if you haven’t listened yet, please do so now). And now he is coming for your holiday playlists with the jingle jangle-y single “Christmas Number One.”
The track was written by the Giacchino, along with the insanely gifted songwriting team of Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (Apple TV+’s Central Park, Disney’s Olaf’s Frozen Adventure). What’s more, the song is performed by UK-based band Itchy Teeth, who performed in Danny Boyle’s underrated Yesterday. The song was produced and arranged by John Robert Wood.
Interestingly, the song was originally written for Christmas Variety Show Giacchino hosted at the Royal Albert Hall last December.
“The show at the Hall was inspired by the kind of Christmas specials Andy Williams or Bing Crosby would host back in the day, where a series of guests would drop by the ‘house’ and sing a few holiday numbers,” Giacchino said in an official statement. “In this case, the story was that actor Richard Kind and I were spending the holidays in London due to work, where we learned about the annual radio contest of the Christmas Number One song, so we decide to try and write one of our own, which became one of the closing numbers of our show, performed by Himesh Patel and backed by the band Itchy Teeth.”
Giacchino then discussed how the recorded version came to be: “As this difficult year unfolded, we all felt that we could use a little holiday spirit, so we had the band record remotely at Kore Studios in London. Xav Clarke (guitar/bass) and Charlie Hannah (guitar/keyboard) took on the lead vocals with bandmate Oli Booker on drums. It was so much fun collaborating with a group of people so full of energy and positivity. Interestingly, the lyrics, while written pre-pandemic, really resonate for this particular year. Elyssa and Kate are so fantastic to work with and I am thrilled to be releasing this song with them.”
So there you have it! Watch the new music video below, and you can purchase the song digitally on all platforms (via Mondo/Death Waltz Records) or order the 7” vinyl from Mondo right here.
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About The Author
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Drew Taylor is an associate editor for Collider. He has contributed in the past to Vulture, Vanity Fair, the New York Daily News, The Playlist, Moviefone, MTV and SYFY. He is also the author of “The Art of Onward” (Chronicle Books, 2020).
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