Mollie’s Feel-Good Feed: Christmas songs and decorating dilemmas

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  • Welcome to Mollie’s Feel-Good Feed, a place where each week Mollie King shares her round-up of the things bringing her joy in these strange and uncertain times. Check back each week for uplifting music, self care tips and, hopefully, a smile being put on your face.

    With Christmas trees appearing in windows up and down the country I think it’s safe to say we are all welcoming some positivity and festive cheer with open arms. I bought my own Christmas tree this week and had the same conundrum I do every year of how best to arrange the lights. Is it better to walk them around and around the tree or looping them over the top (very difficult at 5’4ft with a ceiling-height tree)? I felt instantly happy spending the evening choosing what goes where on the tree and singing along to Christmas hits that we know every word to. It’s a funny thing finding out for the first time what style of decorations your other half goes for, (let me tell you, the tinsel made a mysterious disappearance while no one was looking), you feel like you’ve opened a whole different side to your partner you never knew about! But finally, after much discussion, we are now in the situation where the tree is decorated but we haven’t agreed on a topper, so there is still work to do. Angel or star – which will win? Aside from that I’ve had reasons to smile in the form of brilliant new music and lots of other finds that I’m excited to share with you.

    Singles

    With the most magical season upon us it seems only right to choose two Christmas songs to reflect the mood. To kick things off Annie-Marie has spoilt us with an original track from the Happiest Season soundtrack, the much anticipated Christmas film of 2020, starring Kristen Stewart. Think of Christmas fully embraces the festive spirit with all the bells and whistles – quite literally.  To create an original Christmas song is no mean feat, but Anne-Marie has excelled with this song, it’s certainly the perfect soundtrack to opening a new window in the advent calendar every morning.

    When taking on a much-loved Christmas song it’s often difficult to do the original justice. It takes a special voice to add something to a classic. The girl for the job has to be Becky Hill with her powerhouse voice and endless octaves. Taking on this 1984 Alphaville song, Hill has stripped back Forever Young, giving it her own spin and vulnerability. You might have already heard her version on the McDonalds Christmas ad. I love this version and how breath-taking Becky’s voice sounds on it, pure magic.

    Albums

    This next artist has already toured with Lewis Capaldi and, to add to that, has now been voted as one to watch in the BBC’s ‘Sound Of’ music poll, which tips musicians for success in the year ahead. With a very distinctive and identifiable sound, Holly Humberstone knows exactly where she fits musically and there’s a feeling of consistency between the tracks, which is one of the things I love most when listening to a full EP. Falling Asleep At The Wheel is an intimate and honest listen, perfect for a winter’s night. Covering issues from mental health to falling in love, this is an artist who is set for big things and truly knows herself already at the age of 20.

    TV

    If ever you’ve had a day or week when you’ve sat back and thought ‘well that didn’t go to plan’, rest assured that can even happen to some of the most fail-safe and successful companies in the world. As someone who is new to Formula One, I haven’t watched many Grand Prix, but it was easy to see this season that Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes seemed to have this wrapped up. With Lewis now being named the greatest F1 driver of all time it was leaving little excitement to watch each Grand Prix wondering if anyone would knock him off the top spot. However, with a change of events this week following Hamilton testing positive for Coronavirus, it suddenly felt like it could be anyone’s game on Sunday in Bahrain. With never seen before mistake after mistake from the Mercedes team, including putting the wrong tyres on both of their cars at the pit stops (yes really), it was one of the most ever-changing leaderboards and one that if you’re new to Formula 1 and need some enticement to sit down for a whole 90 minute race, this was the one to watch. A phenomenal, unforgettable event in F1 history, with more than one surprise on the podium. It goes without saying however, we do wish you a speedy recovery Lewis – come back and show us that brilliance we’ve missed.

    Self Care

    Over the last week I’ve started listening to a new audiobook.  Being dyslexic, reading is something I find rather challenging, but I absolutely adore a good story and how they instantly transport you to another place. This for me is one of the most relaxing things when finding some time for myself. The audiobook I’ve turned to this week has been The Switch by Beth O’Leary. Read by the wonderful Alison Steadman and Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones, it’s a real delight from the first page onwards.
    With so much humour and emotion I already know this is going to be a brilliant listen, and one I can’t wait to turn on at bedtime. With a granddaughter and grandmother swapping lives, you can’t help but warm to both characters and their captivating personalities. Give yourself a little pre-Christmas treat by finding a few minutes before bed to listen to this, I promise it could be the switch from stress to soothing you’ve been looking for.

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