Ow, this is hurting my head. Now, on one hand, I love novelty Christmas songs, especially camp, blatant, tinsel-strewn ones from the 70’s. On the other hand, the words ‘Julian Casablancas’ and ‘Christmas Song’ seem so oxymoronic that a pine-scented vortex might open up in space-time if they are sincerely placed next to each other.
And yet, here’s I Wish It Was Christmas Today, a fun seasonal romp, complete – nay, replete – with jingling bells, good old-fashioned excitement and cheerful brevity. Initially, I thought it was a Strokes parody song – here’s a serious band doing a fun song!! Hurr, hurr, geddit? – but then it slowly dawned on me that it was too good and too, well, sincere in its playfulness to be a joke. Gosh.
And speaking of sincere, here’s Nova Scotia’s Cousins, a band whose solemnity firms the groundrock on which a series of bare, stripped-down songs are built. Around Their Waists grunts and growls as it lollops a pretty, bittersweet journey through life and love.
At first it seems that their songs are too bleached plain – but it quickly dawns that the songs are so for good reason. Cousins make songs that are distant, pure and clear in both intent and direction. Their sound is basic because the most important things in life are too – and we’re left with a feeling of warm introspection. Cosy.