‘Into the winter’ album review

Image courtesy of JessyRibordy.Bandcamp.com

album: Into the winter
artist: Jessy Ribordy
genre: instrumental Christmas
release date: December 2, 2021
star rating: four out of five

review by Levi Yager

What better way to herald the arrival of the holidays than with the gift of song? In his latest release, Into the winter, composer Jessy Ribordy takes us on a sleigh ride down memory lane lit by strands of multicolored Christmas lights and guided by the gentle, benevolent spirit of the season. For the most part, the only instrument used is piano, which allows for these songs – many of which are reimagined Christmas standards – to feel much closer in presence than other renditions.

The ingenuity on display in this EP is simply astonishing; Jessy’s ability to breathe new life into these tunes is really something else, and his artistic imprint is unmistakable. Not to mention, there are a few completely original songs included that excel at keeping with the established moods while elevating the overall listening experience. It’s a sonic journey that’s both cohesive and unique, featuring brilliant playing that leaps and twirls with the grace and beauty of a figure skater on a frozen lake.

If you enjoy Christmas carols or piano performance, I strongly suggest taking an evening to explore Into the winter (and I’d recommend purchasing it from Bandcamp if you want to hear the hidden bonus track, a brief reprise of the first song but with vocals). You’ll soon find yourself swept up in a flurry of hopeful, childlike wonderment, mixed with a bittersweet sense of nostalgia as the emotions settle. Even in the absence of lyrics, Into the winter evokes poignant mental images of freshly fallen snow blanketing houses and landscapes in peaceful, pure white. You can feel just as much of the season’s chill as you can the warmth of its love.

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