Dance + cry to the new seasonal song from the NYC producer/violinist/singer-songwriter, who hopes to “bring some light into this dark time”


Sure, Mariah Carey has major seasonal (+ meme-able) appeal.

It’s def true that no Christmas song will ever be catchier (+ no accompanying dance performance more iconic) than “Jingle Bell Rock.”

And yes, bellowing “FIIIIIVE GOLLLLLLDEN RIIIIIIIIINGSSSS” like a 400-lb opera singer is obv a huge sonic highlight of the holiday season (which is why you totally just sang along in your head while reading that, right?).

But winning attributes aside, I’m here to tell you to trash those tired old tracks, because I’ve found a *new* song to serve as your December soundtrack—one so good that the Wetzel’s Pretzel’s employees at your local mall probably wouldn’t even mind hearing it ring-jing-jingling over the loudspeaker for the 467th time during their seven-hour shift.

And on that FESTIVE note, I’m stoked to share (+ PREMIERE) my new fave Christmas carol—a lovely track inspired by literal flashes of hope in the darkest of times from NYC producer, violinist and singer-songwriter Illicit Ghost.

This is “Christmas Lights on the Lawn.”

While I would literally listen to an Illicit Ghost dog-food jingle, cereal theme song or “Hot Cross Buns” cover on repeat (she’s so, so good), this track just hits—getting you right in that sweet spot, right at the drop, where you think you’re just dancing and then realize, whoops… oh, jeez… you’re weeping a little bit, too. (Violins will do that to you, y’all.)

Ahead of the track’s release, the artist filled me in on the inspiration for the song, as well as the quarantine collaboration that defined the production process:

“This song was inspired by all of the people who hung their Christmas lights up early during quarantine to bring a little hope into the world. I didn’t set out with the idea to write a holiday song but one day I was sitting at the piano and the words and music just poured out. It’s been such a difficult year and I hope that this song can bring some light into this dark time. I recorded the vocals and violins at home and produced this one out with Elliot Jacobson (Vérité, Ingrid Michaelson). Although we both live in NYC we sent stems back and forth to each other online because of quarantine. When we finished the song, we sent it to the incredibly talented Mike Tuccillo, who mixed and mastered the track in Los Angeles.”

And with that, I’ll leave you to listen to “Christmas Lights on the Lawn”—perhaps alternated with Illicit Ghost’s 2019 take on “Silent Night”—on repeat for the next… ummmm… 22 days.

And then, let’s be real, probably the next 365 after that. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Follow Illicit Ghost at @illicitghost, add her music to your Spotify playlists and find everything Illicit Ghost at

Feature image (provided by the artist): Grace Brown Photography

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