In the tradition of many sad Christmas classics, Amanda Shires sings of a heartbroken holiday in the new song “Home to Me.” The track appears on Shires’ upcoming album For Christmas, set for release Nov. 12.
A stately waltz, “Home to Me” opens with not much more than piano, acoustic guitar, and lightly brushed drums that all leave room for the ache in Shires’ voice. “I don’t wanna talk/It’s too cold to walk/I keep lookin’ for you, but all I find is frost,” she sings, with the song swelling to include some wistful organ and xylophone. “Please, come home,” she continues, her voice cracking with emotion at just the right spot. Though it’s on a Christmas album, it’s also written in a way that feels applicable to any lost or long-distance relationship.
A video accompanying “Home to Me” was filmed by director Joshua Black Wilkins at Shires’ home with husband Jason Isbell. The grainy shots evoke a happier, warmer season, as if distant from the one she’s singing about in the song.
For Christmas is Shires’ first holiday album and includes the previously released “Gone for Christmas,” featuring the McCrary Sisters. Musical contributors on the album include bassist Jimbo Hart (bassist for Isbell’s 400 Unit), keyboard player Peter Levin (who appears on Isbell’s recent Georgia Blue project), and drummer Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow). Among the original tunes, Shires also offers versions of “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” and “Silent Night.”