Sarah McLachlan Wonderland
For the first time in a decade, superstar Sarah McLachlan will be spicing up your Christmas playlist with an all new holiday album, Wonderland. Boasting 13 fresh and inspired interpretations of traditional and contemporary holiday classics, Wonderland is destined to be a Christmas favourite for years to come. We caught up with the triple-Grammy winner to discuss her new release and talk about why the holidays are so special to her.
otg: How did you choose what Christmas classics to put on your new album?
sarah: I did another Christmas album ten years ago and that was more of an easy selection with obvious choices. So I wanted to do some research to make sure I was choosing songs I could lend something to because obviously, especially with holiday classics, they’ve been done many many times in many different ways.
otg: Wonderland features some exciting collaborations with other artists. Tell us a little bit about what listeners can look forward to.
sarah: I had the opportunity to work with Half Moon Run, which is a Montreal based band. They are fantastic, they are all brilliant, really good song writers. They played on a bunch of tracks and sang as well, as did Emmylou Harris. She is just a love, she is super sweet and I’ve known her for years. Also Martha Wainwright sang. It was great fun to have other artists come in and be a part of it, especially with the choral arrangements.
otg: What artist is a ‘must’ on your holiday playlist?
sarah: Oh yeah Harry Belafonte! I think his 1972… it may even be a double record — there’s a lot of tracks on it. I don’t remember the name of it but he’s my go to for Christmas songs. For whatever reason my parents only had one Christmas record growing up. That’s the one we got every year and I never got sick of it. I just love his voice. As soon as I hear him I think Christmas and I think eggnog and hanging the Christmas decorations on the tree.
otg: What do you look forward to the most during this time of year?
sarah: I look forward to hunkering down on the 24th knowing that I can’t do anymore, everything’s been done! We usually have an open house and people come over and we sing Christmas carols and we eat a lot. It’s a real time for connecting with family and friends and I love any opportunity to do that. I think it happens less and less in the frantic world that we’re living in.
otg: Why do you think your music resonates with so many people?
sarah: That’s a tough question for me to answer but I think because I write about the human condition and I write from an emotional point of view. The storylines are things that everybody can relate to. I don’t know what the combination is that makes it work but I’m just really thankful I can create something and a stranger can walk up to me in the street and say ‘that song you wrote really helped me through a tough time.’ I mean, that’s amazing validation as an artist to know that something I’ve created, which has helped me greatly because writing for me is very cathartic, has been able to go out in the world and make a difference in someone else’s life.