Coming from a Hispanic background and growing up in Southern California, “Feliz Navidad” is a Christmas song I’m well familiar with … or so I thought.
While Jose Feliciano’s song has been a cultural crossover sung by abuelas and granny’s all throughout the generations in North America, Los Angeles native Joel Jerome reimagines the song as a solid psychedelic tune for the modern ages.
Not deviating too heavily from the classic melody, Jerome polishes the song off in a dazzling coat of liquid psychedelia and nostalgic crescendos to form something shimmering and light.
It’s a mescaline producing cactus wrapped up in Christmas lights, delightfully providing you with a new perspective on those classic holiday vibes without abandoning the parts that make the song feel like home.
“‘Feliz Navidad’ has been a staple of my childhood and Christmas memories going back as far as I can remember,” says Jerome. “Truly the most perfect song, simple, memorable and catchy as hell. I recorded it with love in my home studio Joelpetto’s Workshop with constantly revolving vintage and new gear and it gave me the opportunity to use some synths that I recently acquired. Funny thing is I recorded and mixed the song over 2 days on the hottest weekend I can ever remember, a Christmas song in the midst of an evil heatwave.”
While this cover means we don’t really get to see some of the lyrical prowess Jerome is known for, the song plays to his production skills, utilizing an array of layering sounds and instrumentals.
All in all, this is the perfect tune to ease you into the end of a difficult year and a great counter song to all those holiday tunes you might be tired of hearing after all these years.
For more on Joel Jerome, visit his Bandcamp website or follow him on social media.
Words: Patti Sanchez