In this collection, arranged by Lief, he performs solely using multiple layers on the cello. At first read this may sound a bit dull, but if you listen to the care he put into these compositions, you’ll soon discover it’s layers of textured plucking, strumming, and slides beneath the more traditionally associated cello sounds.
The Longest Night is a six-track variation of four more commonly known holiday tunes as well as two far lesser known. But more importantly, Lief’s take on the classics is an interesting divergence in his own melancholic style with compositions that sound like they would fit right at home in the Lord of the Rings trilogy or perhaps in Vikings or on the Skyrim soundtrack. Says Lief, “It’s a darker, more meditative approach to Christmas music. It’s an ode to the darkest time of the year, and a respite from the commercialized joy of Christmas.”
Aside from this release, Lief put out his full length album Counting Breaths earlier this year, which I absolutely loved and wrote about, so check out that article here.
Keep up with Lief Sjostrom on Facebook and be sure to add him to your extensive holiday playlists!
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.