With the opening lyrics, “then a shoot will spring out from the branch of Jesse,” Bethlehem, the long-awaited Christmas album by Storyhill, arrives as if a resulting clause to in a year that is sorely in need of some hope and joy. This collection combines hopeful themes from the prophet Isaiah, traditional Christmas carols, and original material to both comfort the listener and compel positive engagement in the world. Storyhill’s signature plaintive harmonies lend themselves well to the traditional tunes like Lo, How a Rose is Blooming, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, turning old classics into folk-duo anthems. A trio of originals on the second half of the album, Could It Be, The New Colossus, and High Road remind listeners that the hoped-for gift of Christmas will result in their own change to bring about a better world. Whether you are sitting by the fire sipping cocoa as the snow falls or hard at work in a dull and dreary world, Bethlehem is this season’s soundtrack.