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You Wish

by Various Artists

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To usher in the holiday season and cap off a fantastic 30th year as a label, we present You Wish: A Merge Records Holiday Album, featuring both original music and covers of traditional songs by Merge artists, all newly recorded for this compilation.

Not surprisingly, the sonic spectrum on You Wish is diverse. William Tyler delivers a gentle instrumental cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ,” but not before Mike Krol launches into “Won’t Be Alone Tonight,” a self-described “fast Christmas rocker about love and happiness.” The Telekinesis-penned “Christmas Time Is Here (Uh Oh)” almost appeared on a Cheap Trick holiday album, but Michael Lerner made the song his own for our record.

The lyrical subject matter swings just as wide: Mac McCaughan & Annie Hayden yearn for snow on “Down We Go (Sledding Song),” while The Essex Green crave warmer climes on the winking “Green Christmas.” Lucinda Williams’ voice remains as singular as ever, joining Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor for a heartbreaking rendition of the John Prine classic “Christmas in Prison.” Mikal Cronin’s song was inspired by his childhood experience of starring in a present-stealing, Santa-drugging Christmas musical (those exist?). Sure, You Wish may seem contradictory at times, but it’s also a reflection of the season and the mix of emotions that come with it.

You Wish joins A Giant Dog’s interpretation of Arcade Fire’s Neon Bible, Superchunk’s Acoustic Foolish, and A Merge Group Plays “Heroes” to conclude our 30th anniversary subscription series Born Under a Good Sign (#BUGS). In addition to those four surprise full-length LPs on exclusive colored vinyl, subscribers received limited-edition 7-inch singles and other goodies shipped periodically throughout 2019.

It’s been a fantastic year for Merge, and we hope the same is true for you. Now let’s get to celebrating with You Wish!


released October 25, 2019


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Merge Records Durham, North Carolina

Merge Records is an independent record label based in Durham, North Carolina. It was founded in 1989 by Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan. It began as a way to release music from their band Superchunk and music created by friends, and has expanded to include artists from around the world and records reaching the top of the Billboard music charts. ... more

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