Thursday, December 29, 2016

My Favorite Hollens Family Videos from 2016

After deciding that I did not want to do a best albums of 2016 post after all, I knew that I still wanted to do something to commemorate the year. I first came up with the idea to highlight my favorite music related events from the year and you can find that post right here. While working on that, I realized that I wanted to do something else. But what?

Finally, it hit me. 2016 was a terrible years in some respects, but a great one in others. For instance, it was a great year for me musically speaking. I learned about some new acts that I've come to love. What's more, I ended up becoming a bigger fan of some acts that I loved coming in. So, why not find a way to honor those acts? And why not do so by highlighting some of my favorite videos of theirs from the year? After all, 2016 was the year that I decided to launch my video spotlight series. In fact, it was my love for the music video that first inspired me to start this blog in the first place.

The decision was made. Aside from my new music related loves, there were four acts in particular that really stood out to me this year. If you've been hanging out on my blog this year, you can probably guess who they are. I don't think it'll be much a surprise to any of you. But if you're new here (and if so, welcome!) or didn't pay that much attention (and if so, that's okay), let me tell you. The four acts that really stood out to me this year? VoicePlay, Home Free, Evynne Hollens and Peter Hollens. Between the four of them, they released a crazy amount of videos this year. 85 total on their combined channels, assuming I counted correctly. 87, if you add in videos that live on other people's channels. Yes, I actually went through and counted. I think I got everything, but it's possible that I didn't.

Actual number aside, it's still a lot of music videos. Not just that, but they're all good. Great, even. That made trying to narrow it down to a select few quite difficult. Hey, there's worse problems to have. Ultimately, I ended up just going with my gut because I figured I could drag this out forever if I didn't. I decided to break this up into multiple posts to make it simpler. That and considering that I'm including all the videos, that felt like the best choice.

Considering that the first two videos I featured in my video spotlight series were by Evynne and Peter Hollens, it felt appropriate to kick this off with them. Keep reading if you'd like to know what my top five favorite Hollens Family videos were from 2016.

We'll begin with Evynne. I've chosen to list them in the order in which they were released.

1) "Burn". Evynne uploaded this at the end of January - the 28th to be exact. I wrote a video spotlight on it back in February and you can read it here. This was my introduction to Hamilton and what an introduction at that! This is arguably one of her best vocals of the year. Check it out.

2) "Evolution of the Disney Princess". There was no way that this one wasn't going to make the cut. It's Evynne singing a medley. A medley consisting of parts of 14 different songs. What's more? She alters her voice as it goes to suit each princess. It's rather impressive. This one came out on March 3rd and ended up being the video I used to kick off my month of Disney in August. You can check that post out here and if you haven't seen the video, where exactly have you been? No worries. I got you covered. 

3) "The Prayer" featuring Peter Hollens. Uploaded on March 17th, this is a beautiful duet. The song is gorgeous and it's Evynne and Peter Hollens; of course, it's beautiful. Watch.

4) "Almost There". Truth be told: all of the Disney princess covers that Evynne's done are wonderful. All of them. But for whatever reason, this is one of my favorites. I love the way she delivers the song and I love that they went all out with it. Plus, I feel like this song is underrated. I also featured this during my month of Disney and that post can be found here. This came out on July 15th.

5) "Scars to Your Beautiful". This one came out on October 14th and in addition to being a great cover, it's also a great message that we all need to hear. You can read my video spotlight on it here. And watch the video below.

Keep up with Evynne:

Next up: Peter. 

1) "Loch Lomond". It was the song that launched my video spotlight series. It's also incredibly beautiful. Of course it would make the list. There was no chance that it wouldn't. "Loch Lomond" is a special one for me as it ended up being a way for me to connect with my Grandpa Charlie. Something that I didn't think was possible. I wrote about it back in February and you can read that here. Peter uploaded "Loch Lomond" on January 25th. 

2) "Misty Mountains" featuring Tim Foust. Another obvious choice, this one featured Home Free's Tim Foust like we've never seen him before. I love the way that their voices sound together. This came out on March 18th and I wrote about it in April. Here's the video spotlight and here's the video. Brace yourself: some crazy low notes are coming. 

3). "Epic Disney Battle". The contrast between these first three videos and the next one is one of the reasons why Peter is among my favorites. I think he can pull just about anything off. He can do these beautiful ballads and folk songs. He can do songs with dark themes and then, he could also do this. This came out on May 13th and makes me giggle every time I watch. No fail. 

4) Hamilton medley. You gotta love whenever Peter does something from a Broadway show. Especially when it's a medley as good as this one. "You'll Be Back" is perfect and the look that Peter gives Eppic when "My Shot" starts is great. Then the transition from "Burn" into "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" is just beautiful. This came out on September 13th.

5) "December Song" featuring Chad Lawson. I've loved Peter's original song "December Song" since the first time I heard it. He wrote it with Anna Gilbert and what a beautiful lyric and message. This video features Chad Lawson on piano and it's just gorgeous. Love this video. It came out December 21st.

Where you can stay in touch with Peter: