Holy Night by Kete Bowers is an emotive, acoustic, folk track full of soul. The foundation of the song is Bowers’ emphatic vocals; something about their softness immerses you deeper in the lyrics. He evokes the quiet sensation of a winter night through the subtleties in his performance. The space in the mix also helps develop that quiet.
With a track so firmly rooted in melancholy and introspection, the quiet moments feel like self-reflection where the speaker considers his situation. This shared introspection with the listener is aided by the subtle guitar playing that makes up the piece's melody. The song has a very at-home feel to it and this is emphasised in the guitar. It almost sounds like Bowers recorded this off the cuff in a single moment, being in tune with his emotions. Even though I believe this piece is meticulously crafted, the subtleties of this stylistic choice, created by the tones of the guitar, help to hammer home the personality and charisma that is core to what makes the track so charming. The song's narrative focuses on being alone on Christmas, lost without your partner. The piece combines aspects of personal loneliness with traditional Christmas lines like “Sing Rosanna.” To me, this feels like the contrast between how the speaker feels inside and the Christmas facade he has to show to the world. There is a subtle synth line in the background that becomes more pronounced as the track goes on. This helps to keep the emotional stakes of the track high as well as allow for evolution, keeping the song fresh. They aid in delivering the impact of the final “sing Rosanna” lines.
Overall, the aspect that sold me on Holy Night was its ability to do so much with so little. It leans on its strengths to deliver an immersive and introspective musical experience.