Ambient shoegaze-folk artist Aarktica has released his cover of John Prine’s “Christmas In Prison,” a wintery homage to mark the changing of the season. Aarktica’s Jon DeRosa crafts comforting sonic terrains for listeners to traverse across through his reverb-soaked guitar, melding his own unique style of glowing shoegaze-ambient with Prine's quintessential American folk songwriting. Delicate guitar tones glisten in the foreground before unleashing a wall of sound throughout the chorus, further underscored by soaring vocal harmonies with help from Mascot's Kendall Jane Meade. DeRosa's guitar is joined by a steady beat and sleigh bells provided by renowned drummer Butch Norton (of Lucinda Williams' band), whose playing fully immerses "Christmas in Prison" into the wintery soundscapes conjured through both Prine and DeRosa. For DeRosa, the magic of John Prine is not only in his masterful songwriting, but also in his ability to empathize with the characters he writes and sings about. "I can't think of another songwriter with both his level of sensitivity as well as lyrical strength."
"When I heard "Christmas in Prison" with its lilting waltz rhythm, beautiful vocal melody and lyrics that were sad, sentimental and funny all at once, I knew it was the one," says DeRosa. "The imagery Prine conjures up in the lyrics is also so vivid and poetic. Prine once said about the song, "It’s about a person being somewhere like a prison, in a situation they don’t want to be in. And wishing they were somewhere else."
On September 30th Aarktica released his tenth album We Will Find The Light via Darla Records. We Will Find the Light is Aarktica's most ambitious and sublime album to date, and marks his first collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Lewis Pesacov. The album is available on all streaming services, as a CD digipack, and as a limited edition double vinyl gatefold, available here. This is the first physical release from Aarktica since 2009's In Sea and the first full-length since 2019's Mareación.
LISTEN TO CHRISTMAS IN PRISON: HERE