Hi! I’m very excited to tell you about this cover of Carnie and Wendy Wilson’s, “Hey Santa”, that I got to record with Psychic Temple for Joyful Noise Recordings’ annual Holiday Party benefit compilation.
Let me just start off by saying, I LOVE Carnie and Wendy Wilson’s version of this song. It truly is a holiday favorite of mine. It’s very catchy, captures that elusive Christmas vibe very well (while remaining fun), AND features Uncle Carl Wilson doing the backing vocal which lends it some pretty hefty Beach Boys family credibility and feel. Also, if you haven’t seen the InSaNe music video for this tune, please stop what you’re doing (which I guess is reading this?) and watch it now before continuing:
I told Karl (owner, Joyful Noise Recordings) that I was interested in recording a version of this song for the Holiday Benefit Comp this year, and he suggested that maybe Chris Schlarb (Psychic Temple) and I could collaborate on it. I’d met Chris at a show in Indianapolis a few years ago, and listened to a bunch of his records. I’m a fan. So, I jumped at the suggestion. (for real, Schlarb rules) Luckily, Schlarb was into it as well. However, Schlarb also had a fever, and what’s more, he hates this song (though I think he hadn’t heard it before we started working on this, so maybe it will grow on him, just like it did on America - it was a commercial failure upon release but has become a Christmas-radio mainstay, so there…).
After hearing my initial, very poor, demo of an arrangement I thought could work for us, Schlarb suggested we keep the intro intact but otherwise re-write the entire tune. I thought that idea sounded nuts, so I immediately said, “YES! Let’s do it!”. I’m very happy that we did. Schlarb came up with a new chord structure, time signature, and vocal melody and sent the idea to me. After that, I wrote some backing vocals, trying my best to channel Uncle Carl. I think what we came up with is so weird, and so unlike the original that it’s virtually unrecognizable, and I LOVE IT! It was so much fun working with Schlarb and chatting on the phone about this and getting to know one another better. It really felt like a true bonding experience that I’m really grateful for. I hope it shows in the song, but I also hope it shows in the way I approach collaboration in the future. Schlarb was kind and open and honest, but also exceedingly fun. What a guy!
All that to say, starting now, you can not only stream and purchase the entire compilation at Joyful Noise’s bandcamp page, but you can also purchase a very rare lathe cut snowflake with our tune (or any of the others) on it. The money all goes to charity, and each record is limited to 100 copies, so don’t drag your feet!
Here’s the nutty tracklist that you won’t even believe:
1. Eerie Wanda - Listen the Snow is Falling 02:21
2. Kishi Bashi - All I Want For Christmas Is You 02:17
3. Thor Harris & Dumb Numbers - Carol of the Tubular Bells 02:47
4. Oneida with the Joyful Noise All Stars - It's Chill 02:31
5. Psychic Temple & Mike Adams - Hey Santa 02:37
6. Ohmme - Jing-a-Ling, Jing-a-Ling02:18
7. Danielson & Greg Saunier - Peppermint Pattycake 03:16
8. The Low Anthem - Fairy On The Christmas Tree 02:31
9. No Joy - Snow 02:42
10. CJ Boyd - Ode To Joy 02:33