“SANTA CLAUS IS ROCKIN’ ” WITH IRISH-BASED NYC VOCALIST BRADLEY GILLIS
This festive anthem is quickly becoming recognised as Ireland's largest Christmas recording and production making Irish music history. Bradley, the charismatic NYC born, Dublin-based vocalist is best known on the Dublin music scene for his soulful, velvety and jazzy tones that make him one of pop music’s premiere emerging artists and performers. His native sound and usual genre is a fusion of reggae, jazz and hip hop. A full scale, uplifting offering from “the olde country,” the track was produced at the world famous Windmill Lane Studios, site of classic sessions for everyone from rockers U2 and Metallica to R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, Willie Nelson and David Bowie.
The production driven by Simon Shire (the composer’s brother) brought together some 70 talented participants, including the nationally renowned, award winning 20-piece children’s choir Piccolo Lasso, an orchestral section, powerhouse backing singers and top Irish musicians/producers who have worked with Van Morrison, Genesis, The Cranberries, Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Westlife, Chris Rea, U2, Imelda May, Mike and the Mechanics, Riverdance and many more. Maurice Linnane, director of the video for “Santa Claus is Rockin’”, has filmed documentaries for U2, The Cranberries and Foo Fighters.
Explaining the song’s inspiration, its composer, Glen Shire, says, “Santa Claus is Rockin’ is a musical interpretation of the innocence of a child’s limitless imagination at Christmas, and an attempt to offer ‘grown-ups’ a magic carpet ride back to that perfect, blissful place in their childhood memories. While the festive season promises to be thrilling for most children who believe in it, it can be an extremely depressing time for some adults and children alike who are not so fortunate. With that in mind, the lyrics offer up pointers and imagery to help reconnect one’s self to a happier version, when life was sweet, innocent and uncomplicated. That for me, is the spirit and heart of the song: reflecting, rebooting and rewarding yourself.
Hot Indie News: Bradley Gillis ‘Santa Claus is Rockin” Music Review
by Melissa Kucirek
It’s never too early to start thinking of Christmas, is it?
In Bradley Gillis‘ charming “Santa Claus is Rockin'” single, the listener is not only reminded of a special, nostalgic time of year, but a song that has a rich, multi-genre music bed. What I liked most about this track is that this Dublin-based singer/songwriter has such a warm, happy delivery. His song would fit nicely nestled alongside any collection containing Manheim Steamroller, the great Burt Ives, the iconic Bing Crosby, Wham’s “Last Christmas” and another jolly hit, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid.
One other aspect of this song that makes it stand out is that it gets stuck in your head after just one listen. It stays with you, much like any Christmas or holiday staple. Gillis gifts this track like a favorite toy, or long-awaited family member arrival.
Such a fun song and I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad that it’s pigeoned-holed into a seasonal piece. It’s a great song that deserves year-round love. The stirring strings, the hop-along- keys, and the easy-going vocals all make for a solid memory.
Sleeping Bag Studios: BRADLEY GILLIS – “SANTA CLAUS IS ROCKIN” Single Review
You wouldn’t have even believed the look on my face in realizing that in this ONE day, Christmas has been declared apparently…as I’m currently about to review my second Christmastime song of the day while it has yet to pass by Halloween or even start the final week of October. And no offense of course meant towards the fine Rev. Peter Unger, who wrote a Christmas song we reviewed earlier today, and none at all towards the wonderfully-talented Bradley Gillis, who, like the good Rev., apparently practices Christmas in October before the pumpkins are carved…
And in general…I’d like to review ALL of the Christmas music that is apparently just waiting for the okay to be released into pre-pumpkinland, all in one shot here…and this could very well stand & serve for all that’s to come in throughout November and even December too! Actually…thinking about it…I don’t want ANY Christmas music to feel left out…so whether or not your song is made in January, July or December, doesn’t matter…the following is for you!
Dear _______ (artist name) or ________ (band name): Your Christmas music is predictably warm, comforting, kind and inviting…but it would be an impossible task for it to do anything new. I even appreciate the new feel to sweaters & socks…and I don’t understand why that can’t apply to Christmas music. But as we already know, the songs that you will write are going to be sweet, loving, inoffensive…and…*gulp…completely normal & Christmassy-sounding…
Though I appreciate that you are here to warm our holidays…the redundancy of the same bells and twinkling-sounds of Christmas upon your new song called ____________ (insert name here) are making me sad throughout the holidays as they don’t do anything to further music, so much as keep it constant. While I appreciate comforting, soothing and beautiful sounds as much as the next Grinch…I am truly asking you for something new this year, should you like to drop of any yuletide listenings.
Again…I understand that is audibly impossible given the incessantly repetitive nature of the subject that dominates 1/6 of your year/life or more…but I’ve been really, really good this year…so please do your best. Thank you.
In the case of Bradley Gillis…of course, the same theory completely applies. Though the description of “Santa Claus Is Rockin” would have you entirely believe that the song is about to perform the Christmastime miracle of doing something NEW…it’s not gonna. I’m not here to lie to ya. This isn’t reinventing the Christmas-wheel…but it’s not re-gifting an old one either. I can Grinch-out all I want regarding the subject-matter, but the fact remains that Bradley’s song is entirely well-put together and very well-orchestrated. Am I still mad at him for moving Christmas into October? YES. But that doesn’t make him a bad musician as much as I might have wanted that to be the case after unofficially extending my ‘holiday’ season without me asking/ever-wanting for that to happen. The fact is, the dude plays a good song and “Santa Claus Is Rockin” is another potential tune you’ll hear on your stereos this Christmas morning I’m sure – you know…when Christmas music SHOULD be played…on that one day alone (FYI World).
With a Buble-esque smoothness, Gillis sings this one perfectly and charmingly throughout…and recording-wise, this song CAN make a claim to doing something differently as it was recorded involving nearly 70 people, including an 18-piece kids-choir…and everything all blends together with versatile music that sounds as bright and hopeful as the holidays. And just think about it – now there’s another track that both you and grandma can enjoy TOGETHER…who doesn’t want that right?
I kid, I kid. Bradley…you’ve done very well here brother. And if you’re still with me…and you’ve made it to the end of this hard-time I’ve been needling you with, I applaud you sir. Your song, “Santa Claus Is Rockin” is faultless, and certainly reflects the true-spirit of the holidays in a beautiful light of unity…and though I might be the Grinch who tries to steal Christmas music (and YES Bradley…especially when it arrives in October) – again…still can’t deny a good song when I hear one. “Santa Claus Is Rockin” is the complete package as far as Christmas music is concerned…now wrap it up and put it under the tree at least until Halloween is over, would you people?
The Miews: Bradley Gillis – Santa Claus is Rockin’ (Music Review) RATING: 8.5 / 10
by Shaine Freeman RATING: 8.5 / 10
On November 4, 2015, New York singer, Bradley Gillis will release his holiday single, Santa Claus Is Rockin’ that was written by Irish songwriter, Glen Shire. This is a very festive and upbeat tune that reminds me of a modernized edition of Gene Autry’s old Christmas classic, “Here Comes Santa Claus”; just not as fast. The song was produced by Simon Shire in Dublin, Ireland at Windmill Lane Studios, and includes the vocal talents of Piccolo Lasso‘s 18-piece children’s choir, a live orchestral section, and Irish musicians who have worked with U2, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Jerry Lee Lewis to name a few.
I love this kind of music because it really does cheer you up, and brings out the pleasant side in almost everyone who hears it. Bradley’s voice is very clean, the lyrics are great, and the music is very well composed on this yuletide rock jam. This is one of those songs you throw on in early November to get yourself in the mood for some gift buying, eggnog, and seasonal decorating. There’s really not a whole lot more you can say about a Christmas song like Santa Claus Is Rockin’ except, buy it to kick off your 2015 holiday season and have a rocking good time singing along.
Neufutur Magazine: Bradley Gillis – Santa Claus is Rockin’ Single Review, RATING: 8.5/10
by James McQuiston - RATING: 8.5/10
Sleigh bells immediately identify that this song will deal with Christmas material, but what Dublin, Ireland’s Bradley Gillis does with Santa Claus is Rockin’ is create a wholly new Christmas track. There are nods to the previous corpus of Christmas songs, but what listeners will hear with Santa Claus is Rockin’ is a fully-formed rock track that has a good amount of meat on its bones. This means that there are saxophones, trumpets, piano, drums, bass, a full strings section, and even a children’s choir that all make their grand appearance on Santa Claus is Rockin’ over the course of three minutes. While the time that each part is present in the song is limited, the removal of any of these would be a vital blow – everything has its place in Santa Claus is Rockin’.
The density of this track means that it can be played often without having the same sort of fatigue that typically occurs with seasonal music during the middle of December. Everything in this single feels honest and heartfelt, and I believe that each constituent performer has given it their all with this single.
Bradley Gillis’ Santa Claus is Rockin’ is an effort that will continue to gain accolades as more hear it, but I want to hear more music from this performer. The sheer ability of Gillis to come forth and have such a disparate sounds of styles and influences in this single showcases a mind for music that is simply unparalleled with current performers. Watch the video, add Bradley Gillis’ Facebook and add Santa Claus is Rockin’ to your playlist of holiday songs. This effort is enough to instill some holiday cheer into even the most miserly of listeners.