It’s that time of the year: Holiday songs are arriving. Christian Lee Hutson, who released Quitters earlier this year, might be one of the first musicians to tackle the task. Today, he released his own rendition of “Silent Night,” except it’s, as he puts it, for loners.
“Some of my favorite songs are Christmas songs, but they’re often about Jesus being born or old men riding on donkeys to give presents to a baby king,” Hutson explained about the song. “Lyrically, they’re all pretty scary, and I imagine this baby holding humanity hostage. So, I wrote my own version of one of my favorites about spending Christmas in Ohio.”
He opens the song with emotional lines: “Silent night / Over the Rhine / Standing in the checkout line / Weather report on the radio / 65 percent chance of snow / I wanna call but I don’t / I wanna call but I don’t,” he sings, capturing the particular heartbreak and isolation that comes with the overwhelming, forced joy of the holiday season. This downtrodden version is fitting, considering in Uproxx’s 2020 interview with the singer-songwriter he summed up his music in the following four words: “Quiet, nostalgic, guilt, forgiveness.” He also named Elliott Smith as his biggest inspiration, explaining, “I learned how to play guitar by learning his songs.”
Listen to his version of “Silent Night” above.