Review by April Kranz
Christmas is right around the corner, and you know what that means: another holiday review! Get ready for holiday cheer and chilly fun! Except… not so much this time around. But that's okay because while Kalina & Kaina aren't nearly as excited about the holidays as we are, they're still giving us beautiful snowy ballads to reminisce on lost love and memories of brighter Christmases' past. Backed by the songwriting talents of Michael Campion, At Christmas Time will probably have you ugly sobbing over your third cup of egg nog, contemplating cutting up your couples' holiday card from last year.
Let's not forget amidst the sobbing and egg nogging the production expertise of Julian Höninger on this track. Lush violins gradually build over the bittersweet piano, brought in by subtle Christmas bells that are somehow more somber than jolly. The vocal treatment on this track is exceptionally tasteful, and the opening verse alone is as heartfelt as it is clear and crisp. As we kick into the chorus, percussion bursts in to open up the track, letting our vocalist shine as she laments on her lover, who refused to stay.
"The new year ahead promised to be
The best of my life, starting when he
Wrapped up his heart just for me, At Christmas Time."
If the beginning doesn't invoke tears, the rest of the song will. I've already used this vocabulary to describe it in this review, but I'll say it again: this track screams lush and bittersweet. It may not be Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, but I'd imagine this in a Christmas movie, at the pivotal climax of a will-they-won't-they winter love story. It's lovely in its execution, and I tip my hat to the artists for giving it some holiday magic to come to life.
About Kalina & Kiana
Kalina & Kiana is a California-based pop duo whose music and high-energy shows will have you singing along by the second chorus.
Sibling harmonies were heard from Kalina & Kiana while they were still buckled into their car seats. At 11 & 13, they formed an all-girl band, The Raymies, for which John Stamos produced a pilot that Disney held to replace "Hannah Montana" before the band and deal imploded. The sisters then went to Europe to create another series that was shelved for three years because of a Viacom acquisition. During this time, Kalina & Kiana were contractually kept from using their own names, so they wrote and played under a pseudonym while Kalina went through cancer/chemotherapy…but kept playing gigs.
The European show finally began production, but Kalina & Kiana passed on the lead roles to pursue music under their terms. They continued to write songs for, and occasionally made guest appearances on three seasons of Maggie & Bianca on Netflix, along with numerous other film & TV projects. No longer contractually bound, they are healthy, happy and making the best music of their lives as they try to navigate through an imperfect world and a broken music industry.