Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but Amazon Music is already looking ahead to Christmas. They’ve curated a “Christmas Soul” playlist that sets out to explore the varied meanings of soul, and thereby features an eclectic mix of artists reinventing old and new Christmas classics to fit their own definitions of the word. Among them is rootsy country-soul singer Nicole Atkins, who contributed her cover of “O Holy Night,” premiering today exclusively at Paste.
When it comes to Christmas carols, “O Holy Night” is one of the most iconic, but Atkins’ version amps up the tempo and turns the choir-friendly anthem into a dynamic instrumental medley of groovy bass, piano lines and sweeping strings, while still staying true to its origins with organ hums. Atkins’ abounding voice is the star of the track, however, conquering the line “Oh night divine” the way it should be. Of the song, Atkins stated:
“O Holy Night” has always been my favorite Christmas song. The first time I heard it, I burst into tears because it was so powerful. I think it was the first time I cried from music taking me over. I always wanted to record this song in a style that made it more human in a way that it could bring the message to the angels from the earth rather than the song already residing up in heaven.
“Christmas Soul” features 25 tracks, and will be available exclusively for streaming on Amazon Music—both Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music—beginning on Nov. 24. In addition to covers, the playlist also includes new compositions, making up a mix of music from all across the genre spectrum that will surely put you in the holiday spirit. Listen to Atkins’ rendition of “O Holy Night” below, and underneath, watch Atkins perform one of her originals during her Paste Studio session earlier this year.