Phoebe Bridgers joined by Jackson Browne on cover of “Christmas Song”: Stream

A sad and sweet version of the McCarthy Trenching song

Phoebe Bridgers Lera Pentelute Jackson Browne Christmas Song CoverMcCarthy Trenching
Phoebe Bridgers, photo by Lera Pentelute

    With Thanksgiving in the rearview and December just a few days away, it’s time for the annual holiday music takeover. Inaugural Artist of the Month Phoebe Bridgers has today shared her entry into the pantheon of seasonal tunes with a new song that comes with quite a story behind it.

    “Christmas Song” is a cover of a track by McCarthy Trenching, an acoustic outfit from Omaha, Nebraska. After playing with them in their hometown last year, Bridgers whipped out a version of “Christmas Song” at a Los Angeles gig around the holidays. As she recounts it in a press release, Jackson Browne happened to be in the crowd that night and expressed his love for the song. When she decided to record a studio version of the wistful track, she asked Browne to join her, and he was happy to oblige.

    The details of the whole tale are actually a bit more charming, but we’ll let Bridgers explain it in her own words:

    “McCarthy Trenching is singer-songwriter Dan McCarthy’s band. We played a show together in Omaha this last year. They named the band after the trenching company owned by Dan’s uncle so they could sell those t-shirts instead of having to make their own. The first time I heard this song it hit me like a ton of bricks. A lot of McCarthy Trenching songs do that. It’s not that often that I hear a Christmas song that doesn’t make me want to quit music. I played a show in L.A. around the holidays last year where I covered it for the first time. Jackson Browne was there, and he came up to me after the show to tell me how much he loved the song. A couple days later, Dan got a Bandcamp notification on his desktop computer that someone paid 50 bucks for his record and wrote a nice note and signed it Jackson Browne. He thought someone was fucking with him. So when I decided to record a version of the song, I knew who I wanted to sing on it. Plus, I have wanted to make music with Jackson as long as I’ve wanted to make music.”


    Take a listen to “Christmas Song” below.

    Bridgers is two days out from wrapping up her marvelous co-headlining tour with Julien Baker featuring Lucy Dacus. Together, the three of them released one of this year’s best efforts, boygenius.