The Christmas holidays are fast approaching, and the need for a festive atmosphere is bigger than ever this year. There are many appropriate songs for setting the jolly mood right, even full albums dedicated to the occasion, so soundtrack options are plenty.  

However, 2020 brought one highly anticipated Christmas release to light. A release by an artist some people might not expect to hear produce such gentle, mellow, heartwarming tracks. Poppy’s A Very Poppy Christmas four-track EP is finally here, and it is the only holiday record you need.

Poppy is probably the biggest internet sensation we have seen in decades. The artist started as a YouTube viral star taking on the role of an android entity – a character she managed to maintain for an impressively long time. Her unsettling performances and peculiar persona took over the World Wide Web and turned her into one of the most controversial figures of modern times.

Lover her or hate her, you can’t deny her artistry. From bubblegum pop to hardcore metal she has done it all.

Her music debut Everybody Wants To Be Poppy in 2015 started an artistic journey that no one could predict. Poppy made her mark in various music scenes constantly evolving and pushing her own creative boundaries.

“Music that makes you want to rule the world” is how the artist puts it. Her creative journey led her into the realms of art-pop, bubblegum pop, dance-pop, and electronica only to branch out into completely different fields like nu-metal, synth, and pop-metal. The artist touches on every music direction her imagination points to which has resulted in a diverse discography that can never bore you.

Poppy’s strongest year

 2020 is a strong year for the multi-genre phenomenon. She released I Disagree, her arguably best album, at the start of the year. The record unveiled a creative evolution and a stronger focus on heavy music – pop-metal, hardcore, and aggressive dubstep beats defined it and helped the artist reach top spots in rock and metal charts.  

In April, the heavy exposition of refined sound and vocal arrangement received a deluxe edition featuring four smashing bonus tracks which didn’t make to the cut for the official album. In June we saw a beautiful rendition of t.A.T.u’s All The Things She Said. The cover once again displayed that Poppy simply cannot be put in a box and her singing abilities are greater than many people could imagine.

This seems like a major aesthetic and vocal level-up for the artist in terms of her pop music

The artist kept going strong with another release in October – Music To Scream To is an album created to support Poppy’s graphic novel Poppy’s Inferno. The six songs serve as instrumental soundtracks for the novel and construct a noise record with gruesome, heavy, distorted elements.

In late November Poppy dropped the first single from the eagerly anticipated Christmas record, which the artist hinted about back in 2018. The full four-track EP unveils a stripped-back, almost acoustic-natured tracks with minimalistic, well-working structure. Guitars, piano, and Poppy’s mellow vocals are the only elements needed to create an irresistibly festive atmosphere bringing the Christmas spirit to life.

A Very Poppy Christmas is quite the different release compared to everything else we saw from the artist this year. The heaviness from the former releases steps away to give space to a gentler sound and vocal execution. The four songs are united under the spirit of the most beloved holiday and unveil different heartwarming stories.

I Like Presents is a unity of a love song and a Christmas song in one – the cosy, peaceful atmosphere created by the soft instrumental is complemented by a personal story of love and affection. Poppy highlights the message that the most important part of the holidays is being with the person you love most in a convincing, heartwarming way which sets the tone of the EP well.

No one should be alone tonight
And I see Christmas in your eyes
So won’t you give yourself to me?
Forget those boxes, leave the tree

The leading single from the EP – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas has a lot of emotional substance with a note of sadness overpowering the jolly atmosphere. The song gets deeper and deeper with each line unveiling a strong contrast with the opening track – instead of enjoying each other’s company Poppy and her lover will be separated for the holiday. The artist expresses the emotions and worries to the unfortunate development with the support of a beautiful acoustic instrumental.

No, I won’t be home for Christmas
Baby, tell me nothing’s changed
In your heart, you feel the same
Who created all this distance?
And I know you’re missing me
I don’t know where I’ll be
But I won’t be home for Christmas

Kiss In The Snow goes back to the warm and sweet vibe with the piano taking the spotlight. The song features small personal details which are sure to resonate with listeners and contribute to getting in the right mood before the holidays.

A Very Poppy Christmas wraps up with a cover of an iconic Christmas song. Silver Bells, originally a Carol Richards and Bing Crosby song reimagined by different artists during the years, gets a mesmerizing Poppy version as well.

The artist displays her angelic singing and builds-up the anticipation for Christmas effectively. Festive and sweet, Silver Bells uses simple instrumentals and modernized sound to breathe new life into the certified mood-setting classic wrapping up the perfect 2020 Christmas soundtrack.

Poppy does justice to the beloved winter holiday mood. A Very Poppy Christmas shows the artist’s idea of the holiday and features personal experiences and details, making the soundtrack strictly hers and easily relatable at the same time.

The charming cover art (created by Maria Llovet), featuring the artist and her cat Pi in a distinguishable Poppy aesthetic, sets the expectations for a heartwarming personal comfort well. The simple instrumentals and focus on gentle singing reinforce the purpose of the record and make it one truly enjoyable listening experience. Poppy wraps up her headstrong year in the best possible way by bringing even more diversity to her colourful discography and once again proving her never-ending versatility.

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