The Omnichord is a very unique instrument. Introduced in the early 80’s, it often looks like a mix between a Sony Walkman™ and a harp. The sound it produces is often described as “kitschy” but it’s incredibly diverse; often shipping with presets for simple beats, MIDI compatibility and additional vibrato and sustain support. Nashville duo Zeke & Ross are very familiar with the allure of this cult instrument as they’ve crafted six, lengthy, albums using them exclusively.
Back in 2015, the duo released A Very Omnichord Christmas I-IV. The massive sixty-six track compilation is an enjoyable trip through loads of Christmas classics and a handful of original instrumentals (we have professed for our love for it previously) . In mid-December of 2020, they released A Very Omnichord Christmas, Again packaged with An Omnichord for Christmas. They’re separate albums but clearly two halves of a whole.
Much like the uniqueness of the Omnichord itself, this dense tome of work is an unmistakably distinct journey itself. The music is a delightfully upbeat and often zany backdrop of whimsy to a load of original holiday songs celebrating everything from not getting coal for Christmas to serving a Boar’s Head for dinner to Santa wanting to drive a slick black Buick. It’s forty tracks, so no list of topics would do it justice to the variety it offers.
There are two “Intermission” tracks (each almost 15-minutes apiece) in which Zeke & Ross assure you they’ll be back to the music soon and discuss amongst themselves a few Christmas curiosities. It’s a lengthy break from the songs but the absurdity of it all is undeniably charming.
That charm is perfectly contagious and acts as a salve for the holiday doldrums. The end of the year can be a bleak time as we reflect on the previous year but Zeke & Ross provide a massive batch of songs that celebrate the season. Their friendship shines through on the recordings as a reminder to let yourself have some fun. They certainly are.