An Indiecater Christmas
December 8, 2008
1. The Cloud Room – Melody, Like Snow
2. Nina Hynes – Twinkle
3. Kill Krinkle Club – Songs Of Noel
4. Bill Baird – Christmas In Jail
5. Idaho – Santa Claus Is Weird
6. Venice Is Sinking – The Grey Line
7. Normandy – Merry Christmas, Blogosphere!
8. The Very Most – This Year, Christmas Came November 4th
9. Remington Super 60 – Here Comes Christmas
10. Jape & David Kitt – I Will Cry This Christmas
11. The Specimen – Wish It Would Snow
12. Nonstop Everything – There Is No Santa, Little Boy
13. My Teenage Stride – Is It Christmastime Already?
14. Dora Flood – Coastal Winter
15. Loxsly – Santa Got The Spins
16. Track A Tiger – Once In The Wine
17. The Winks – Action Figures
There are rules to writing a Christmas song. Firstly, it’s best if you use some form of bells in the accompaniment. Sleigh bells, preferably. Jape and David Kitt, Kill Krinkle Klub and Normandy all oblige nicely. Secondly, perhaps one should reference a Christmas carol if at all possible. Loxsly’s ‘Santa Got The Spins’ resurrects a morose ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ to soundtrack a tale of Santa gone A.W.O.L. and Idaho’s equally bleak ‘Santa Claus is Weird’ ends upon the drum riff from ‘Little Drummer Boy’. Thirdly, never be ambivalent about one’s feelings towards Christmas. Happy or sad are the choices available. A lonely hipster on Christmas Eve (‘Merry Christmas, Blogosphere!) nestles under the Christmas tree beside Jape and David Kitt, who both promise that they too ‘will cry this Christmas’, while, on the other end of the spectrum, My Teenage Stride and Remington Super 60 both celebrate the season of giving, mince pies, and tangled outdoor lights.
However, sometimes songs refuse to follow the ground-rules. ‘Action Figures’ by The Winks is one of the strongest tracks on the record. Child-like vocals whisper excitedly about presents being hidden under the stairs, while a low man’s voice intones ‘I hurt myself making your gift/ Needed three stitches across my ribs’. B.S.S. strings and reverb fade into an answerphone message, melting into a kaleidoscope of sound and wonder. It’s the musical equivalent of lights for a Christmas tree that flash on, and off, and then, suddenly, keep flashing on for fifteen minutes straight. Magical.