What could be more magical than a Christmas album by a trio of singers who have perfected the art of harmonisation?

Led by Marcella Puppini, the Puppini Sisters have been delighting fans of close harmony groups since 2004, a year after the release of a famous French film, Les Triplettes de Belleville, which featured three female singers. It was after watching the animated film that the Italian decided to set up her own group, in the company of Englishwomen Kate Mullins and Emma Smith. The result was a handful of albums with ultra-glamorous, sassy sleeves, featuring both covers of standards (old and not so old) and original songs.

Close harmony is a singing technique in which the voices are very close to one another and remain confined to a single octave. In this regard, The Puppini Sisters are heiresses in a long and prestigious line of vocal music groups, the most famous undoubtedly being The Andrews Sisters, a trio who entertained Americans in the dark years of the 1940s.

The Puppini Sisters took the same comforting approach when they conceived this album, recorded in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, or more precisely, during the 2020 holiday season. For Marcella Puppini, the group’s founder, this record, exclusively available on Qobuz, wasn’t solely about the music: “It was about reaching out and touching the hearts of our fans when they needed it the most. The joy we received in return was the best Christmas gift we could ask for.”

Recorded in front of a live audience (reduced to follow safety measures) at Premises Studios in London, this album consists of classic, essential Christmas songs, from “Jingle Bells” to “Let It Snow”, “O Holy Night”, and many in between. Such a selection, paired with this vocal technique, inevitably immerses us into waters that are decidedly retro. The British trio revisits the past with sparkling enthusiasm, and sometimes, a touch of irony. To this end, the mischievous Puppini Sisters have also chosen more unexpected tracks, like George Michael’s “Last Christmas”, to which they bring a delightfully jazzy sensuality. They have also made sure to give a nod to Marcella’s Italian roots, covering “Ba Ba Baciami”, a bouncy foxtrot created in 1940 by Roman Alberto Rabagliati. Accompanied by a piano, an accordion, a bass, and, obviously, bells, The Puppini Sisters recreate the spirit of Christmas in all of its warmth, color, and joy.