Ormonde is a duo who call Seattle, Washington their hometown. They are Robert Gomez and Anna-Lynne Williams. They met when Anna-Lynne traveled to Denton, Texas during the summer of 2008 to record a duet with John Grant, which was being recorded with Midlake in their studio. Robert was there recording guitar parts for the same record and after they heard each other’s solo works Robert proposed that they rent a house and spend a month there making an album. And that’s exactly what they did; McKenzie Smith of Midlake would eventually add drums, finishing the record.
Ormonde Christmas is an EP consisting of three songs. The first track is “Blue Christmas,” which they’ve done quite softly, basically turning it into a lullaby. The light synth that plays throughout the track makes one think of falling snow — when you just get a flurry and actually enjoy it at Christmastime — so they deserve kudos for that. But, of course, it’s their warm voices that are the shiny white Christmas lights here. Anna-Lynne’s voice is slightly louder, but Robert sings the song along with her and the two harmonize beautifully.
“Angels We Have Heard on High” follows. As much as the duo rendered “Blue Christmas” soft and gentle, they’ve rendered this classic loud and rough around the edges. In fact, the raw, blaring guitars are actually louder in the mix than their voices. But it is an interesting take on the song and enjoyable at that. It’s just not what one would expect from a cover of this one.
Finally, they do what is quite possibly the most covered Christmas song of all time, “Silent Night,” which they’ve done in the same vein as their take on “Blue Christmas,” rendering it sweet as a sugar cookie one might leave out for Santa. And it’s also quite lullaby-esque, so might I suggest you play it with “Blue Christmas” for your children if they’re having a hard time getting to sleep on Christmas Eve. And on the off chance that you have to wake them up in the morning, you could play them “Angels We Have Heard on High,” though it might startle them a bit.