Artist: Heather Maloney
Song: “The Secret of Christmas”
Album: Christmas Anyway EP
Release Date: November 13, 2020
In Their Words: “I adore this song and I actually didn’t know it existed until pretty recently. While my producer Ryan Hommel and I were in the process of making the Christmas Anyway demos, our friend (and Ryan’s bandmate in the Amos Lee band) Jaron Olevsky, turned us on to the song. We listened to it and then pretty much simultaneously texted each other to say that we needed to record it. Not only is the original recording devastatingly gorgeous (because Ella), we both agreed that the lyrics are perfectly aligned with our central ideas for this holiday EP.
“Basically, the words felt like they underscored this sentiment: what makes the holidays meaningful isn’t dependent on any outer circumstances (the gifts we give/don’t give, if we are physically together/apart, etc.) — but rather, meaning is something we can choose to create (at any time) through the choices we make, our gestures of kindness and the way we frame those uncontrollable life circumstances.
“We asked Jaron to arrange our version of the song and he blew us away with what he came up with. Another dear friend and collaborator Cynthia Tolson played all of the strings and by the time I was singing the final vocal, we all honestly had to take a few cry breaks in the studio before we could get through it. This song is amazingly short and sweet for being so packed with meaning, and to me, singing it feels like singing one long beautiful sentence that slowly builds in intensity — and eventually culminates in the line that drives it all right home: ‘The secret of Christmas is not the things you do on Christmas, but the Christmas things you do all year through.'” — Heather Maloney