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NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH – April 2022

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Is it just us, or is 2022 flying by very quickly? Easter has come and gone, and another Bank Holiday is just around the corner. As we approach the end of another month, here’s KVH Studios’ Head of Music, Nick Bewes, to look back at some of new music released over the last few weeks that have been added to our services.

There’s only one place to start this month, and that is with the return of Harry Styles. His new album, Harry’s House is out on May 20th, and the first single from it ‘As It Was’ has been doing good business. It’s topped the charts here in the UK as well as Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and on the Billboard Hot 100 in the USA.

Next up is a collaboration featuring the newly crowned Best British Dance act, Becky Hill, with a DJ & Producer boasting 50 million record sales globally and more than 10 billion streams who presented her the award at the Brits. It’s David Guetta of course. They are joined by the brilliant Ella Henderson for Crazy What Love Can Do, which has summer anthem written all over it.

Speaking of collaborations, few would have predicated Sigrid and Bring Me The Horizon teaming up, but boy does it work on Bad Life. Taken from her new album How To Let Go, it’s a stunning single and the video is so good as well.

Speaking of stunning videos, it’s time for the latest from Ed Sheeran. The video for 2step has some amazing visual effects and as Ed states at the beginning, was filmed in Kyiv months before the attacks started. YouTube royalties from the video are going to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Finally, it’s time for some Charli XCX. She’s back with Used To Know Me, which features a sample you might recognize. It’s taken from her fifth album in ten years, the album Crash which was her first UK number one album. DIY music website & magazine said the album cements Charli’s status as a true pop trailblazer. And we’re not going to disagree! The video for this is also fantastic!

There you have it for another month. Keep up to date with our new music additions by following us on Twitter @kvhstudiosmusic.

NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH: March 2022

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The clocks have gone forward, and British summertime has just begun. However, one of our new music picks this month takes us back in time. KVH Studios Head of Music, Nick Bewes, explains…

At the start of the year, if someone had told me we would be playing new music from New Kids of the Block on our services, I’m not sure I would have believed them. Especially a new single that also features Salt N Pepa, Rick Astley, and En Vogue who take us back to the end of the 1980s by recreating some of the iconic music stars of the time. See how many you can spot.

From a quartet of classic artists to an artist who wasn’t even born when NKOTB were the biggest boy band on the planet. King Princess wasn’t born until 1998 and was signed by Mark Ronson’s label Zelig Records in 2018. She released her debut album in 2019 and is now working on a follow up. A taster was released this month and we look forward to hearing more if it’s this good.

Next, it’s another big-name collaboration, this time featuring two of the biggest music stars right now, in the shape of Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran. They team up on Bam Bam, which is apparently the ‘break-up bop of 2022’!

We first added Sigrid’s music to our services in February 2017 and in March 2022, we’ve added her latest single, It Gets Dark. Rolling Stone UK describe this track as an empowering ode to embracing the highs and lows in life and we’re not going to argue. Album number two is due soon.

Finally, from someone who is getting ready to release her second album to a band who are preparing their 11th studio album. Def Leppard release Diamond Star Halos on 27 May, their first album in 7 years. The first single Kick is classic Leppard with a hint of T-Rex.

That’s it for another month on new music picks. You can keep up to date with our playlist additions by following us on Twitter @kvhstudiosmusic and our Spotify playlist here.

Ready to make savings on your media this spring?

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The sun has started to make an appearance and the evenings are getting lighter each day, but with price increases being talked about at every turn, we understand it’s hard to believe brighter days are on their way…

Your on-site media, such as background music and digital signage, is essential in creating a positive, entertaining and informative environment for your customers – all leading to brand loyalty and increased sales.

So, with very clear advantages and benefits, surely it must come at a high price… not with KVH Studios. We believe in providing high-quality, low-cost services with a high return on investment.

Here are 5 ways in which we do this…

  • FREE dual media player

We’ve worked hard over the last 7 years to be able to provide our clients with a free of charge audio and visual player when taking our services, with free replacements as standard.

  • License-FREE music

Another key area of focus has been on improving the quality and quantity of our royalty-free music tracks meaning we can now provide excellent non-copyright music services without the need for your business to pay licenses to PPL and PRS.

  •  FREE rollout

Due to the success of our new hand-held player and ability to deliver audio and visual content via various methods, including Wi-fi, we can now offer free of charge remote rollouts. Meaning there’s no cost to switch suppliers and we’ll project manage it for free.

  • FREE upgrades

Our technology and content capabilities are continuously developing with weather-activated advertising, automatic start and finish, and site-specific targeting being just some of the most recent updates. All of which are available to you free of charge if you want to use them.

And finally, our low monthly subscription fees are per site and tailored to YOUR individual requirements, meaning you just pay for the content you need, working to meet your budget.

Whilst other prices are going up, we’re determined to continue offering our services at a low cost without the compromise! So, if you’re interested in making savings on your music and visual services, now is the time to give us a call!

NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH: February 2022

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February is the month of love, what with St. Valentine’s Day and all. So, it only seems right that we share the love for the new music that we’ve added to our services this month. Here’s KVH Studios’ Head of Music, Nick Bewes, with his pick…

I know it’s not Christmas, so it’s unusual to feature Michael Bublé, but he has released a new single in February! Taken from his first new album in 4 years which is due for release in March, I’ll Never Not Love You is a classic Bublé pop tune. The video features him recreating iconic scenes from movies over the years, see how many you can guess.

Speaking of acts returning, it’s been six years since Red Hot Chilli Peppers have released new material, but a new album is on the way in April! The first single from it is a trademark RHCP song, in the shape of Black Summer. Nice to have them back.

Two artists that have been very busy over the last few years are Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran releasing 6 albums between them. They’ve now teamed up on a new recording of Ed’s The Joker and The Queen. The video features the same actors as in a previous collaboration between the pair 9 years ago in Everything Has Changed, which is a nice touch.

Our next selection is from the amazing Arlo Parks. She released her Mercury Prize winning debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams just over a year ago and is now back with a new single, Softly. She told the NME recently – “My sonic palettes and tastes have definitely expanded, and the kind of music that I want to make has changed.” Here’s the first taster of what’s to come.

And finally, to one more returnee. Florence Walsh had been very quiet for the last 3 or 4 years until a track appeared on the soundtrack to Cruella last year. She’s now back with a bang alongside the Machine with the majestic King.

That’s it for another month, I wonder what gems March has to offer? Find out in a few weeks, plus dont forget you can listen to our new music track additions on our Spotify playlist.

Do you ❤ working with your audiovisual provider?

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Isn’t it nice when you enjoy working with suppliers? Knowing they’re ‘on the same page’ and they just get things sorted for you?

Whether you have supplied music, digital signage, or both – if the spark is no longer there with your current on-site audiovisual provider and the passion has gone from their creative ideas, maybe now is the time to start a new, better quality working relationship with KVH Studios?

Our clients are our number 1 priority, which is why we’re in long-term relationships with many of them and we’re complimented regularly on our response times, agility, and friendly approach.

“We’ve worked with KVH Studios for over a decade and they continue to be our number one choice. We love the high level of customer service we receive and have a great relationship with the proactive and attentive team.” Costcutter Supermarkets Ltd

The KVH Studios team have been supporting commercial businesses with background music, in-store radio, digital signage and production services for over 30 years – aligning with brands, meeting objectives and driving sales.

Why do people choose to work with us? It’s simple. We get the job done and at the very best quality, taking the worry away and looking after everything for you, allowing you to focus on other priorities. We ❤ what we do and we ❤ building strong relationships with our clients to achieve first-class results.

“We have worked with KVH Studios for many years and it’s a pleasure to work with such a enthusiastic, friendly and professional team who are proactive, assertive and always on hand to provide fresh and original ideas.” Topps Tiles

You deserve more from your audiovisual supplier! Give us a call today on 0113 233 7800 or email info@kvhstudios.com and we’ll set a date to get to know you and your desires. And don’t worry, we don’t expect a commitment straight away, we’re happy to see how things go with a free trial 😉

The Brits 2022 Review

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Last night was the biggest night of the year for the music industry in the UK. Yes, it was the Brits 2022! KVH Studios’ Head of Music, Nick Bewes, takes a look back at the big night….

Big Winner of the Night

Without a doubt it must be Adele who won three of the big awards on the night. Her comeback single Easy on Me was crowned Song of the Year, 30 was named Album of the year and she made history as well, becoming the first ever Artist of the Year.

Genres returned

It’s been a while since we had separate genre awards, but they were back this year. Sam Fender was named Rock and Alternative Act, last won by Kaiser Chiefs in 2005. That was the year that Lemar was named Best Urban act, now it’s called Pop/R&B act and congrats to Dua Lipa for winning that one. The last time we had a Dance category it was won by Basement Jaxx in 2004, an emotional Becky Hill won it in 2022.

2022 also had Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap category which Dave won, and there will be more from him in a mo. Speaking of Mo…

The Host with the Most?

It’s one of the hardest jobs in TV, but the host for the last few years Jack Whitehall made it look easy, never taking himself or indeed the celebrities seriously and poking fun at everyone. It was Mo Gilligan’s turn this year, and although he did a good job, he lacked a bit of the fun and spark that Jack brought to the show. Here are some of his best bits though…

Surprise of the Night

Even as a big fan of Silk Sonic I never expected them to beat BTS or Måneskin to win the International Group, but they did. And provided one of the best acceptance speeches of the night.

Performances of the Night

There were some amazing performances. The show opener of Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran & Bring me the Horizon continues the Brits theme for unusual and unexpected collaborations and set the tone for the night ahead. However, for us, it was a tie with the fantastic show finale from Dave which showed how talented the guy is. Stunning.

Our other favourite was the Introvert & Woman medley from newly crowned Best New Act, the simply brilliant Little Simz.

Moment of the Night

It was poor Anne Marie who provided this year’s Madonna moment when her ankle gave way walking down the steps at the beginning of her performance and she fell forward. However, she got up and carried on like a true pro. Anne Marie’s ankle now has it’s own twitter account. I kid you not.

However, my moment of the night was Little Simz winning Best New Act and bringing her Mum on stage with her. From the moment she was announced as the winner, Mama Simz looked so proud of her daughter and was making sure everyone knew it. Brilliant.

There you have it for another year. Congratulations to all the winners and performers, bad luck to those that missed out, remember it’s the taking part that matters.

Brits 2022 was a good show which showed off how good British music is right now. Job done.

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NEW MUSIC THIS MONTH: January 2022

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New Year, New You, New Music! Or something like that. Here we are, already at the end of January! Some people have been saying the month has dragged, whilst others say it has flown by. Whichever way you feel, there’s been some great new music released already this year which we’ve been adding to our services. Here’s KVH Studios’ Head of Music, Nick Bewes, with his top picks…

Track (and video) of the month must be the return of Muse. Not only is it a return with the first new music for nearly 4 years, but also a return to the heavier style of music they made on their earlier albums. The production of Won’t Stand Down is just superb, The track is an absolute monster that rocks out whilst maintaining an element of the more mainstream approach of recent albums. The video is pretty good,  if not slightly strange! Nice to have you back boys.

And now for something completely different. Griff and Sigrid have teamed up for a brilliant pop single, Head on Fire. It’s the perfect collaboration, as their voices sound great together, and the video paints a picture of two best friends living their best life.

The Weeknd is currently the most popular artist on Spotify, with over 85.6 million monthly listeners, helped no doubt by the fact his latest album Dawn FM has been released this month. Continuing his love affair with all things sounding 80s, Sacrifice is a great single.

We heard this month that Ella Henderson is finally releasing her second solo album. The follow up to 2014’s Chapter One is sadly not called Chapter Two, but Everything I Didn’t Say and is released in March. The latest sample from the album is Brave.

And finally, this month, the latest from a band that we’ve been supporting for nearly 5 years, The Sherlocks. The latest single from their new album World I Understand is called Sorry and is their most commercial sounding single to date. Sounds great nice and loud!

That is our first review of new music in 2022. Keep up to date with our playlist additions by following us on Twitter @kvhstudiosmusic, and our New Music Spotify playlist.

2021 round up

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What a year we’ve had and 2021 has certainly been a busy one at KVH Studios! From new product development to new clients, award wins to getting out on the road again, lots has been happening and we thought we’d share our top 10 stories from our quarterly newsletters so you can get a taste of what KVH Studios is all about and the exciting services we offer to retail, hospitality and many more sectors…

Our brand-new dual media player is now available!

Not only have we upgraded our audio only player this year to a smaller, more compact device that has higher speed and more storage, but we’ve also developed our hardware to broadcast both audio AND visual! This is great news for our dual service clients, old and new, as it eliminates the high cost of our previous visual player and reduces the amount of hardware required for the services. Our dual player can fit in the palm of your hand and can easily be self-installed so is a huge improvement in the technology we provide. If you’re toying with the idea of a full audio-visual system, check out the services we provide and get in touch to find out more!

Award-winning production team

We’re so proud to say that our awards are really mounting up now with another couple of wins under our belt in 2021. This summer we won a One Voice Conference Award once again, this time for our Pancake Day advertisement for SPAR Radio and in October we won another VOX award for Best Retail Commercial for our Nisa King Pot Noodles advertisement. Our team of producers and scriptwriters continue to knock it out of the park with their creative and it’s so great to be recognised for all the hard work that is put into making our services sound the very best they can be and ensure our advertising is engaging and effective for our clients.

In-store radio launched into Vivo stores!

We continue to be the ‘go to’ supplier of in-store media for the convenience sector as we rolled out our radio services to Northern Ireland brand, Vivo this year. Offering fresh/frozen goods in a modern store layout, 35 stores have been installed so far from their 100-site estate including VivoXtra and Vivo Essentials. The service includes copyright music and creative advertising from a Northern Irish voiceover.

Extrawurst arrives in the UK!

For the last few months of the year, our design team have been working hard on creating brand new menu board and digital signage designs and animations for Extrawurst UK, with the first site opening in Merry Hill Shopping Centre in late December. The Extrawurst brand is well known in its country of origin Germany, and many other countries across the world, for its delicious bratwurst based, food-on-the-go meals but is a brand new launch for the UK. Everything was created from scratch and we worked hard alongside their marketing team to bring the brand to life through on-site visuals. We’re excited for the next new site opening soon!

Great British sounds launch across Harry Ramsden’s and Deep Blue Restaurants

This summer we’ve had the joy of working with iconic brands Harry Ramsden’s and Deep Blue Restaurants to create two unique channels of Great British classic tunes to support in the aesthetics, history, and mindset of the customer to deliver an enjoyable dining experience. In a short rollout, we provided each site with either just a player to connect to an existing music system or full sound system including amplifier and speakers, dependent on the requirements, as they returned to business and look for a more cost-effective, high-quality music service. Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

Rollout across Kwik Fit and Tyre Pros estate complete!

Through an audio trial at six centres in 2020 comparing our services against other suppliers, leading automotive servicing and repair company, Kwik Fit, recognised the many benefits that own brand radio can bring to the centre environment and how KVH Studios can provide the best quality and service in the field. The service creates a welcoming and positive atmosphere for both customers, to enhance their in-centre experience, and staff, to motivate them in their working day, plus improves lead generation through awareness of the products and services available. KVH Studios were delighted to have been chosen as their preferred supplier following this tender process.

The brand-new service features entertaining and informative shows presented by four well-known presenters, seven days a week across all 700+ centres, plus creative advertising to inform and advise customers. All this is combined with an upbeat, vibrant mix of music tracks spanning the decades to appeal to a wide demographic and tailored to customer footfall.

As this is a brand-new service for Kwik Fit, the KVH Studios engineering team installed full audio kit including amplifiers, speakers, volume controls and KVH Media Players across the centre network. This digital delivery allows the client to take advantage of the agile and flexible capabilities offered such as centre-specific, day-parted, and weather-activated advertising.

The rollout was successfully completed in November and it’s a pleasure to be working with an exciting new client.

Andy Lane, Kwik Fit Marketing Director, said: “We were delighted with the results of the trial we carried out with KVH Studios. We could see clear benefits in the response from customers and from our centre employees. As a result, we are looking forward to seeing the impact following the full national rollout. We believe that KVH Studios has created a channel that will complement our existing communications and strengthen the relationship our customers have with the Kwik Fit brands.”

Taking Superdrug Live on the road again!

After skipping a year because of that rubbish thing that happened, we were so pleased to hear that the Superdrug Supplier Conference would be back in October. It was time yet again to pack up the big pink phone box and showcase Superdrug Live in-store radio to suppliers. The team shared how brands can benefit from advertising on live radio and how the service provides ‘That Superdrug Feeling!’. We can’t wait to hopefully get out on the road again this year to more events with our clients.

SPAR RDCs make the non-copyright switch!

As our non-copyright music database continues to improve in quality, variety and choice, long-standing and new clients are drawn towards the cost savings our music selection can bring without compromise. Many clients have made the switch in recent years with positive feedback from store staff including Topps Tiles and House of Fraser. And most recently this summer, AFBlakemore, part of SPAR UK, asked us to transfer their company-owned stores across to the SPAR Radio royalty free channel. If you’re interested in reducing or eliminating license fees for part of or your full estate, get in touch to find out more about our non-copyright solution and receive a free demo.

Moto Rugby opens with our digital signage package

Our digital signage solutions come in all shapes and sizes to fit a wide range of environments and purposes. Not only do we retrofit sites, but we also work with clients to develop new solutions throughout new builds.

In 2018, long-standing client Moto asked us to provide them with an audio-visual package for a new site they were planning to open. They were looking for a state-of-the-art, digital display solution that incorporated both a large screen video wall and individual menu screens for each of their concessions.

The entire process required close planning and development with a number of different teams within Moto, including close collaboration with builders, architects and developers.

Our digital solution provides live BBC news, real-time traffic and weather information, automated day-parted visual menus, and the opportunity for third-party and external advertising with all scheduling and licensing managed by KVH Studios. In addition, we implemented a digital audio system as an extension of the service we offer across the estate.

The new £40m Moto site at Rugby finally opened in May of 2021 following delays due to Covid-19 and it looks fantastic. KVH Studios is so proud to be a part of this fantastic new development and so glad to hear our client is impressed and pleased with the results.

A superstar service for a superstore launch

Across 2021, we have developed our digital signage services even further, and in the last few months, we have been working with our long-term client Barnardo’s on digital signage for their new superstore which opened in Coventry in October. It’s the first of its kind and is their biggest store in the UK so was a great opportunity to launch new in-store media. Not only did KVH Studios work with them to install and showcase video content but we also developed a touch screen tablet solution for customers to be able to donate, shop the eBay store, apply to be a volunteer and much more whilst in store. We’re so pleased to have been able to support our client in this new venture and look forward to providing our interactive digital signage services to more clients in 2022.

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KVH Studios 2021 Music Review

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As we come to the end of another year, it’s tradition that we take a look back at the music that has graced our airwaves (and our services) over the last 12 months.

It’s been another very different and, at times, difficult year, when even the ‘New Normal’ was replaced by a newer normal but musically it’s been a good year, with some great new tracks released. Our Head of Music, Nick Bewes, looks back at some of our favourites…

2021 started with Wham finally getting to number one with their eighties classic Last Christmas but even that isn’t the strangest number one of the year. Go on, admit it, no-one could predict that a bloke from Airdrie in Scotland (Nathan Evans) would get the top spot with a sea shanty song!

Breakthrough artist of the year must be Olivia Rodrigo. She burst onto the scene in January with driver’s license which topped the charts for 9 weeks followed by another 4 weeks at the top spot with second hit Good 4U later in the year.

From a new artist to the Comeback of the Year. Was it Ed Sheeran? He returned with 3 number one singles – Bad Habits, Shivers, and Merry Christmas with Elton John, who in turn topped the charts for the first time in 20 or so years with Cold Heart featuring Dua Lipa.

Or was it ABBA, returning with new music for the first time in 40 years with the album Voyage? All good contenders, but the Comeback of the Year is of course Adele. Her single Easy on Me spent 7 weeks at number one, while her album 30 sold 261,000 copies in it’s first week and has been at the top of the album chart ever since! It was a massive success in the USA as well, which is where she is heading next year as she takes up a residency at the 4,100-seat Colosseum theatre at the world-famous Caesars Palace.

Live performance of the year belongs to the wonderful Wolf Alice. They appeared on Later with Jools Holland in March with their new single The Last Man on Earth, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Video of the Year comes from February. During Lockdown, Gemma Arterton was able to walk around a deserted London for a short film to accompany the wonderful new single Remember Where You Are from Jessie Ware.

Our Most played track of the year is Black Magic by German DJ Jonasu. Released right at the end of 2020, we added the track in January. However, it wasn’t until it was featured in an episode of ITV’s Love Island in the summer that it finally took off and made it into the Top 10.

And finally, to our tracks of the year.

Starting things off with James Blake with Say What You Will. We have been fans of his music for years and this single was fantastic.

At number two, Bruno Mars & Anderson.Paak created the superb Silk Sonic. Their first single Leave the Door Open is a modern soul track with a classic sound.

The song that we’ve picked as our Single of the Year was released in April. It’s not often that a song comes along and stops us in our tracks, but when Little Simz released Introvert and it landed in our inbox, it did just that. Whether it’s the production, the lyrics or the video, everything about this single is spot on. Amazing and perfect.

There you have it, the KVH Studios Music review of 2021. Here’s to even more amazing music for 2022!

Christmas music

NEW ‘CHRISTMAS’ MUSIC THIS MONTH: December 2021

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Let’s set the scene.

Looking outside, the snow is falling, all around me, children playing, having fun. Inside it’s nice and warm with logs on the fire and gifts on the tree. We’ve got chestnuts roasting on the open fire. We’ve hung up a stocking on our wall, because it’s the time of year where Santa has a ball and he’s put a great big smile on somebody’s face! Looking back to last Christmas, I gave you my heart, but the very next day, you gave it away. This year, all I want for Christmas is You!

Classics one and all, I’m sure you will agree. Year in, year out, the same festive favourites take over the airwaves and the charts. However, every year, we get some new Christmas tracks hoping to join the elite. The Premier League. And 2021 is no different.

Here’s a small selection of the new Christmas tracks added to the KVH Studios services this year from our guide, our very own Santa, Head of Music, Saint Nick Bewes.

Without a doubt, the biggest new Christmas track of the year – not including latest sausage roll creation from Ladbaby, and going for a record fourth festive chart-topper, is the pairing of legend Elton John and the heir to his throne Ed Sheeran. They have teamed up for Merry Christmas. The video features recreations of some of the legendary Christmas music videos from years gone by.

While we’re talking about songs battling to be top of the festive chart, Sky have made a film about the battle to the number one spot in the Christmas charts, with new songs written by Guy Chambers. One of them is A Christmas Wish featuring one of the stars of the film, Iwan Rheon and Cerys Matthews.

Now for something that has a more traditional feel, with a cover of a song from 1950. Darren Criss and Adam Lambert have teamed up for a new version of the Man with a Bag. And it’s a belter.

Next up is the return of Kelly Clarkson to the world of Christmas music. She released Wrapped in Red in 2013 and now she’s back with her second collection of festive tunes which includes her partnership with Ariana Grande, who of course released an EP of Christmas tracks in 2014.

And finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Mr. Christmas Music himself, Michael Bublé. His Christmas album was released 10 years ago and has sold 14 million copies around the world. To celebrate its anniversary, he’s recorded some new tracks for a re-release. One of them being Christmas Jumper.

And there you have it for another Christmas. Will any of these become modern day Christmas anthems? Only time will tell.

Merry Christmas!

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