Music News

The Lumineers Cover Willie Nelson's Christmas Song "Pretty Paper"

The Lumineers just dropped a new Christmas song.
The Lumineers just dropped a new Christmas song. Brandon Marshall
Christmas music can be hit or miss. There's the cloying mass-manufactured junk piped through the King Soopers speakers — and it's unclear whether it's designed to make shoppers feel good or panic. But there's also plenty of simpler fodder that doesn't come off as quite so fluorescent and that keeps with the spirit of the season.

In the past couple of weeks, we've written about some of Colorado musicians' best original holiday music and Christmas covers. This week, the Denver-based Lumineers dropped a Christmas number that's easy on the ears, a cover of Willie Nelson's "Pretty Paper. "

Hear Nelson's version below:

The Nelson track is characteristic of the classic country artist — nostalgic, melancholy and tender.

Devoid of Nelson's signature jazzy guitar ornamentation, Lumineers singer Wesley Schultz offers a mumbling, raw take on "Pretty Paper" with a simple strumming pattern and a pained voice.

The Lumineers are best known for their catchy song "Ho Hey," which is as minimalist and radio-friendly as Americana gets. The band's "Pretty Paper" is even more stripped down. The buzzing track sounds home-recorded, evoking an intimate campfire sing-a-long more than a studio recording, and in that, it works. 

Hear the Lumineers' version of the song below:

Proceeds from the release will benefit the Brown Paper Bag Movement, a New York City-based organization dedicated to feeding and clothing people experiencing homelessness.

For more about the Lumineers, go to the band's website.
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris