The orchestra are back, putting their own style onto some festive favourites.

Featuring seven new arrangements of songs by band leader Mike Paul-Smith, this Christmas themed album has plenty to offer in terms of a joyful and lively album.

While many songs including ‘Santa Baby’ and ‘White Christmas’ will be easily recognised there are also some lesser known ones that compliment the record nicely to create a diverse and playful album.

Swing into Christmas gets off to a really perky start with a rendition of ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ that immediately sets the tone for the rest of the record. Down For the Count Swing Orchestra really offers a lot of warmth and richness in their performances that immediately captures the attention.

For the most part the album is quiet and understated, with gorgeous renditions of ‘White Christmas’ and ‘The Christmas Song’ really standing out. But there is also a different side to the album as well – thanks to lesser known songs such as ‘Christmas in New Orleans’ which is a really fun and upbeat addition and works nicely in contrast to more tender numbers ‘What are You Doing New Year’s Eve?’ and ‘The Things We Did Last Summer’.

Swing into Christmas is certainly a confident album, but it does feel as though some of the arrangements of songs tend to play it slightly safe – excepting perhaps ‘The Christmas Waltz’ which has plenty of ideas and really stands out.

This is a really lovely and cosy album to listen to – particularly going that extra mile to include lesser known songs that offer a refreshingly different vibe to the usual Christmas songs that we are all used to hearing time and time again. Down For the Count have certainly delivered a lively and vibrant Christmas album that is to listen to and appreciate.

By Emma Clarendon

Swing into Christmas is set to be released on the 1st December.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐