After listening to the STELLAR winter/Christmas mix “The Way Snowflakes Fall” by cherrystarscollide on 8tracks, I found myself scrambling to hunt down some new Christmas tunes I had never heard. The main target of my affection was the stellar “Winter (Christmas Song)” by Memoryhouse. Known to many via their recent Sub Pop release, The Slideshow Effect, I was amazed to find a song from 2009 floating out there that nobody seemed to be talking about! After some digging, I found that Decoder Magazine had put out a small, free compilation back in 2009 titled Christmas Off the Coast, but to my dismay, all the links were broken and the original files had been lost on a stolen computer’s hard drive! So, I threw out a few shots in the dark and landed the entire release (thanks cherrystarscollide!!!). You may kindly download it from the link above, or right here. As for the songs themselves, this is a pretty strong release. The Memoryhouse track, of course, is wonderful. I wish they would release it as a FLAC on their Bandcamp!! Woodsman’s cover of “Little Drummer Boy” is actually palatable too… because its an instrumental! I never realized… I really just HATE THE WORDS! Weed Diamond‘s “Christmas, Baby Please Come Home” is perfectly fine too. Fuzzed out with a more lo-fi feel, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but there are parts (this one guitar part inparticular) that separate it from the pack. Wasters’ “Holiday” is another great instrumental piece that, with its brevity, just might sneak onto a mix. I Am the Dot‘s “Blue Christmas” is electro-on-the-edges enough to be interesting as well, for a song I generally don’t gravitate to.
Bottom Line: This is a great release – and I’m happy to bring it back to the masses! I could never give something a perfect score when it has “Little Drummer Boy” or “Blue Christmas,” but forget my personal prejudices and add another .5 to a release that you can enjoy all the way through. 4.5/5