Yo La Tengo have released a new Hanukkah song titled ‘Eight Candles’, from the forthcoming holiday compilation Hanukkah+, out on 22 November.
‘Eight Candles’ was written by Sam Elwitt and features Ira Kaplan, James McNew and Georgia Hubley and was recorded in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Inspired in part by Yo La Tengo’s stories annual eight-night concert run ‘Hanukkah Run’ at the now-shuttered Maxwell’s in Hoboken, Hanukkah+ ultimately came together with the help of the Grammy winning music supervisor and album’s producer, Randall Poster. Poster recruited many of his friends and colleagues in the industry – both Jewish and non-Jewish – to record a new collection of indie holiday classics.
“When our old friend Randy Poster asked us to contribute to an album of Hanukkah songs he was putting together, we were kind of stumped,” said Yo La Tengo in a statement. As non-practicing Jews (and non-Jews), truthfully the holiday has little meaning for us (that’s the meta joke behind Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah shows), but we were open to inspiration. We thought maybe another friend, Sam Elwitt, could crack the code, and we think he did a fantastic job with his composition ‘Eight Candles’.
The result is a holiday song filtered through the sound of Yo La Tengo, with nary a sleigh bell or klezmer orchestration in sight, just a beautiful atmospheric song about Hanukkah.
“They’re a-light and the window’s aglow, Teasing shadows with nowhere to go/So they watch at the curtain with you Eight candles.”
Hanukkah+ is set for release on 22 November via Verve Forecast and features original contributions from The Flaming Lips, Adam Green, Jack Black, Loudon Wainwright III, Craig Wedren, Alex Frankel (Holy Ghost!) and HAIM, who covered Leonard Cohen’s ‘If It Be Your Will’. HAIM also recently shared a new single, ‘Hallelujah’, a tribute to their late friend Sammi Kane.
Yo La Tengo will continue their annual Hanukkah concert tradition, which will take place this year at New York’s Bowery Ballroom from 22-28 December. With tickets on sale now.
Hanukkah+ can be pre-ordered here.