Last Christmas my wife and I had a revelation that it seems everyone has, sooner or later. We actually started listening to Christmas music. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire?!” We’re millennials. We barely know how to start a fire, much less roast chestnuts on an open one. Forget keeping Christ in Christmas; it often seems like Christmas isn’t even in Christmas. And yet here I am, this year eagerly watching as city workers string up cedar garlands downtown, checking my weather app for LED snowflakes, caught in the internal tug-of-war that this season always brings: the longing for, but inability to force, holiday cheer.

Anyone mixed up like this will find solace in Lowland Hum’s latest album, a nine-track collection of diverse, subdued Christmastime essentials. It begins with a soft “Joy to the World,” the traditional, boisterous lyrics contrasted by the characteristically gentle music of singer-songwriters Daniel and Lauren Goans. It’s a delicate, paradoxical opener to an overall elegant album, the duration of which expresses a deep, unmistakable joy in accessible, muted tones.

Songs for Christmas Time includes less ubiquitous classics like “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” and Johnny Cash’s “We Are The Shepherds,” as well as the Advent chef-d’œuvre “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” A personal favorite is “Ain’t That Rockin’ All Night,” which is befittingly peaceful but also, well, rockin’. Also noteworthy is their rendition of “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming,” which marked the first time that hymn has truly connected with me, which I suspect is owed to the way Lowland Hum seamlessly transforms it from a confident anthem to an earnest spiritual plea, and the way, in its second half, Lauren’s voice weaves longingly out from the steady rhythm of Daniel’s guitar: “O Savior, king of glory, who dost our weakness know, bring us at length we pray to the the bright courts of heaven and to the endless day.”

Simultaneously merry and melancholy, sunny and sober, this quiet, authentic collection will settle the seasonal bickering between your inner Grinch and your adrenalized Who. A reflective, nostalgic rendition of “Christmas Time is Here” is an appropriate closer. You may even surprise yourself as you lift a tentative voice to sing along with “ancient rhymes of love and dreams to share.”

Click here to find out more about Lowland Hum’s “Songs for Christmas Time.”