Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jack Frost nipping at your toes

Last week, I got sent about half-a-dozen Christmas singles by mid-ranking indie bands who all said something along the lines of, "yes, we have recorded a Christmas song but the surprising and totally original twist is that the lyrics are really dark and talk about families fighting / being alone during the holiday / holocaust and suicide" (these are all genuine, by the way).

There really is nothing more pathetic than someone trying to cash in on Christmas by pretending to hate it, is there? If it's all so doomy and bleak and depressing, and you're so clever and authentic, why have you put fucking jingle bells all over the track? For the love of God, don't tell me it's irony, or I will come round to your house and personally fill your stockings with coal, then make you walk to the North Pole in them and apologise to Santa. Got it? Got it? Great. Thank you.

Now, with that out of the way, let's listen to a seasonal song that isn't pandering to questionable assumptions of musical credibility. It comes courtesy of winsome folk faerie Laura Marling, who is going to charm us with some actual, pure poetry - particularly the line, "winter was on us, at the end of my nose".

There's also some stuff in there about running away from a failed relationship, I grant you, but the ultimate sentiment of the song is that winter (particularly the English winter) is beautiful, no matter what's happening at home. It's Laura's ability to take a step back from the subject and use it as the backdrop for universal, human emotions that sets her apart. It also helps that she has written a beautiful piece of music.

The single is out next week, but here's an acoustic performance from Marc Riley's 6 Music show to tide you over til then.

:: Laura Marling - Goodbye England

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