Christmas Cactus

by Isaac Gill

supported by
EJ Olsen
EJ Olsen thumbnail
EJ Olsen "Christmas Cactus" is an EP well worth the wait. Not only does it finally treat listeners once again to Isaac Gill’s whimsical-yet-earnest lyricism and eclectic musicianship, but it also delivers a batch of Christmas originals that deserve a place right alongside the classics. Read my full review here: Favorite track: The New Years Day Carol.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $7 USD  or more




IMPORTANT: From now until December 25th, 2017, 100% of profits exclusively from Bandcamp sales will go to an organization that prepares nutritious meals for cancer patients in Nashville, TN, where I reside. The organization is called the Heimerdinger Foundation, founded by the surviving spouse of a former Tennessee Titans coach who passed away from cancer. Not only do they provide healthy food for families during a very difficult time, they also work with teen volunteers who get an education about healthy food, healthy living, and service.

This organization is important to me for 2 reasons. My father died from prostate cancer in 2016. Megan and I were living in Nashville 12 hours away from home during the 2 years my dad suffered with cancer. Although we visited and made great memories, I still wish I had been closer; I would have loved to help more. The second reason I chose this group is because the founder of the Heimerdinger Foundation was a friend of ours at Good Food for Good People, my former work place here in Nashville, TN. Help me honor this amazing work.

If you'd like to learn more or give a tax deductible donation please visit

About this EP:
I wrote the song "Christmas Cactus" in Nashville in December of 2016, my family's first Christmas without my dad. Between 2014-2016 my family lost five members. This song exuded out of me all at once during the holidays. Holidays are hard for so many people. I never experienced this personally, but now I get it.

"Christmas Cactus" is a song about the suffering and enduring Christ. A cactus is a persevering and resilient thing that is full of life even in the most extreme circumstances.
I wanted to juxtapose a similar concept from the classic "O Christmas Tree" with a heavier subject- suffering. I also drew a lot of inspiration from my favorite Christmas carol, and one of my favorite songs, "O Holy Night."

The song "The New Years Day Carol" is an ode to the annual New Years Day feast that was always held at my grandmother's place, where she would serve a traditional pork, black eyed peas, and collard greens meal to make the new year rich and happy. "You must eat poor if you want to be happy." I've never released a song that was a literal snapshot of my personal life the way this song is. I usually mask things in layers of poetic metaphor or satirical hyperbole. I confess it's not the best performance, but I like it because I wrote and recorded it in one sitting and it felt honest.

The instrumentals are a hodge podge of lighter diddies, including Silent Night and three originals (one of which was an homage to the character "Dustin" from Stranger Things 2)

And featuring the mouth trumpet, "It Never Snows on Christmas Day" is about exactly what it sounds like.


released December 11, 2017

Mykeria - bgv's "It Never Snows on Christmas Day"
Megan Gill - bgv's "Christmas Cactus" and "It Never Snows on Christmas Day"
Brittany Greenquist - bgv's "It Never Snows on Christmas Day"
Taylor Greenquist - bass "It Never Snows on Christmas Day"
Me - other stuff...


all rights reserved



Isaac Gill Nashville, Tennessee

Eclectic, earthy, and quirky, Isaac Gill combines elements of Americana folk, indie rock, and bossa nova jazz and evokes varicolored and imaginative storytelling.

contact / help

Contact Isaac Gill

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: It Never Snows on Christmas Day
Leaves of brown
Are resting on the ground
And the sky soaks the gray
Like a sponge

Birds en route
Have cut their travels short
And all the world is warm
Like a bath

It never snows on Christmas Day

Children laugh
As they play in the sand
And the water blazes blue
Like a dream

It never snows on Christmas Day
Track Name: Christmas Cactus
Oh Christmas Cactus
You are adorned with ornaments of thorns
You bloom in the soft desert snow
In a house where you have no home

No home, no home

Oh Christmas Cactus
You are draped in the dim purple morning
The subtle rays arrange your robe
In a palace where you have no throne

No throne, no throne

Oh Christmas Cactus
You are crowned with needles on your brow
Where the sap slips like wine to the ground
In a planet where faith is scarcely found

Never found, never found

Oh Christmas Cactus
Your hands reveal the stars in their holes
Your stalk roots in a skull made of sand
Whose contents once formed a man

Made a man, made a man

Oh Christmas Cactus
You are suspended in a frozen desert plane
Your arms bridge the East to the West
In a world where you will grow again

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hosanna, hosanna
Track Name: The New Years Day Carol
I can taste that New Year's Day
At my grandma's house, sweet Alice May
The pork, the peas, the collard greens
"You must eat poor if you want to be happy"

We are together again
Even if only in my mind
We are together again
Just one more time

My father shares my first champagne
He giggles as the bubbles play
We celebrate my sister's birthday
And then we go outside in the rain

We are together again
Even if only in my mind
We are together again
Just one more time

If you like Isaac Gill, you may also like: