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Songs We Love: Low, 'Some Hearts (At Christmas Time)'

Zoran Orlic
Courtesy of the artist

Low's dreamy and deliberate sound lends itself to holiday music beautifully: The Duluth, Minn., band knows how to evoke winter, as well as the heartfelt reverence it takes to infuse Christmas songs with meaning beyond the usual mutant reindeer and other Santa-adjacent shenanigans. It's a high compliment to say that Low's holiday songs sound like Low songs, with all the attendant beauty and ache.

For fans of the trio's classic Christmas EP — a staple of any impeccably curated holiday playlist since 1999 — the arrival of a new Low Christmas song feels, appropriately enough, like an actual gift. With its buzzy loops, clean guitar lines and a soaring Mimi Parker vocal, the exquisite "Some Hearts (At Christmas Time)" certainly qualifies: The song's bittersweet sentiment is generous enough to accommodate both awareness of the holidays' psychic toll and the unshakable faith that "our hearts are made to hope, to find."

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)