Christmas is just four days away, which means Mac DeMarco is back to fulfill his annual tradition of covering holiday songs. This year, the Canadian jizz jazzer has shared his take on Judy Garland’s classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, which you can stream below.
The original version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is a wistful, tender track about holding on to hope despite being stuck in a tragic place. It always hits home, but this year it feels especially relevant during the pandemic. In DeMarco’s hands, though, the song takes a more laid-back approach, stretching Garland’s original words into a hazy, mellow rumination over a stringy trip-hop-like trance.
DeMarco shared his cover alongside a lo-fi music video. In the clip, the Here Comes the Cowboy singer can be seen dancing on the edge of a mountain by a scenic overlook. Next to him is a giant, inflatable, grinning Santa Claus holding a teddy bear. It looks like a bunch of other people are waiting to get their photo taken next to it, but DeMarco is too busy singing the entirety of the song to give his turn up that quickly. (Later, around the 1:20 mark, Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan makes a cameo in the form of a photograph, too.)
Over the years, DeMarco has celebrated the holiday season with a wide range of covers. Last year, he tackled the classic “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. In 2018, he put his own spin on “The Christmas Song”, and the year before that he tackled Paul McCartney’s giddy “Wonderful Christmas Time”.
Earlier this year, DeMarco released two new demo albums, dropped some special vinyl for Record Store Day, and starred in the music video for Crowded House’s first new single in a decade. He also debuted a brand new song called “Fooled by Love”, which hopefully means he’s got another full-length record in the works already.