To get your exam-riddled brains full of the holiday spirit, The Ubyssey is prescribing a healthy, 12-day course of ridiculous music reviews. Enjoy, you poor souls!
Do you see all the flaws and cracks in the cheery, plastic facade of the holiday season? Do you loathe the prospect of forcibly engaging in small talk with distant relatives as you bitterly stew about how all of your friends have flown away and left you stranded until the new year? Slow Club understands these timeless struggles, and has created the gift of musical empathy. To all my jaded peers, Christmas, Thanks for Nothing is for you.
“All Alone on Christmas” kicks-off the album with simple, somber piano chords. When you're feeling alone and abandoned during the darkest days of the coldest months, this song is the warm blanket of validation that you needed. While everyone else might be hounding you to smile more while you stand dateless and awkward in the corner of your office Christmas party, Slow Club says, “Fuck it — feel sad!” with this beautifully brooding metronome.
Every album needs a radio hit and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is it. While the recesses of your memory are racked with countless covers of familiar voices of nameless artists, the vocals of Rebecca Taylor set this one apart. Yes, the lyrics are ultimately about being sad and alone during the holidays, but those drums are so damn catchy.
A cover of “Silent Night” might lead you to expect a soft, musical embrace reminiscent of quiet snowy evenings — wrong. What starts out as a Hans Zimmer-esque BWAAAAAHHHH a la Inception continues to have a trace of a melody underneath its blaring guitar — or are they horns? One can never know for sure, but it's the auditory equivalent of the Grinch shoving a bunch of Christmas carollers through the pipes of a church organ. And it's fantastic.
The album's titular track is the quintessence of Christmas snark. Accompanied by a cheery piano, the sweetly-sung lyrics spout off a list of the worst things about the holidays — “Those vicious friends you can't avoid, the family truce just got destroyed.” Because let's be honest with ourselves — the holidays are never the time of love and relaxation it's made out to be. It's full of stressful things like pretending to like the present your weird aunt got you and getting major FOMO from looking at how much fun everyone else is having on Facebook, all whilst trying to find opportunities to escape the small enclosed space you're trapped in with your family.
In the continuously relevant words of Slow Club: “Christmas, thanks for nothing. You made a doubter out of me.” Happy holidays you sad-sacks!