Marchelle Bradanini sings under the name Pony Boy, but don’t get your genders confused: this singer/songwriter out of Nashville delivers her unique brand of Americana with a unmistakably sultry femininity. A self proclaimed “Junkyard Country” artist, she has been celebrated for a style that blends elements across the length of the American Songbook, from blues to rock to pop and beyond.
This March, her The Devil in Me EP garnered comparisons with Cat Power’s vocals and Tom Waits’ gravely, southern gothic themes. Now, in case it slipped your mind, Christmas is around the corner, and for those who have grown weary of chipper holiday sentiments sung by Chipmunks and the like, Pony Boy is here with her brand new Christmas single, “(Please Don’t Leave On) Christmas Eve.” In putting the track together, Bradanini admits that she “was inspired by the classic record, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. I had written this atypical holiday song that didn’t deal with the usual tropes of mistletoe and cheer.”
Through this doo-wopping groove, she joins the proud tradition not only of Spector, but of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas,” the Carpenter’s “Merry Christmas, Darling” and many other songs for and about people who would rather cry than carol on Christmas Eve.
The steady jangling of jingle bells and twang of guitars set the wintery scene for Bradanini’s yearning vocals and her easy, pouting lamentations, proving that “Christmas Eve” is an inventive and sexy antidote to the typical, overplayed Christmas classics. And when she cries, “now I’m alone in our king-size bed,” it’s enough to melt the heart of the biggest Grinch.
Pour yourself another glass of eggnog and check out “(Please Don’t Leave On) Christmas Eve” below.