MusicWednesday Matinee

WEDNESDAY MATINEE: Morgan Mecaskey’s New Christmas Single

There are only a handful of vocalists who can give me goose bumps the way that Morgan Mecaskey’s soulful alto can. Once again, her skill at composition and arrangement is put front and center for a Christmastime rework of an old hymn, specifically one dating all the way back to 1745.

The text, originally written by Charles Wesley, is one that many people may not know but it struck a cord with Mecaskey. “It speaks so pointedly to the longings we as people have regardless of time or place in history, geographic location, or ethnicity. The first two verses embody the longing that Advent represents,” she explains.

Advent, for those of us who are not as familiar with biblical teachings, is the time before Christmas that many Christians observe with anticipation for the coming of Christ. It’s observed prior to Christmas, because the birth of the Savior is at that point, still unfulfilled. It is only after Christmas that there is “the culmination of those longings met—satisfied, in the birth of [Jesus].”

“It’s so counterculture, so punk rock. I think that’s what draws me to the text. It’s hopeful without denying the often painful, tragic realities we face. Instead, it’s an invitation to step out of our sad stories and partake in the bigger, eternal narrative,” Mecaskey says.

“Come Thou Long Expected” is a wonderful updating to a story that many have heard time and again, but perhaps, never really appreciated. Our culture may often forget the true meaning of Christmas, but Mecaskey has found a way to remind us using her greatest gift.

The video is really simple for such complex track. The music was recorded and engineered by Dave Douglas at Danger House and mastered by Adam Boose of Cauliflower Audio. Anthony Foti (drums) and Jeffery Sutton (bass) contribute instrumentation to the track, while Mecaskey takes care of the rest.

Most of the scenes in the video read like a year-in-review with footage compiled from live performances and a “behind-the-scenes” look at recording, with added shots of Christmas lights filtered through a kaleidoscope, snow globes, and a family dancing to reinforce holiday imagery.

Morgan Mecaskey will be performing live on January 2nd at Nighttown, and January 3rd at The Grog Shop’s Annual Free Weekend w/ Oldboy & Aku Aku.

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Rachel Hunt

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