Gotta Groove Records
Gotta Groove Records has been sending 7″ records to their customers (they are primarily an indie vinyl pressing plant – check them out!) for the past seven years, and thankfully, Tim Thorton (half of Couples Skate Only and an employee at Gotta Groove Records) has posted a few copies on their Bandcamp for the past few years. Back in 2015, when I discovered this wonderful little tradition through the Couples Skate Only Bandcamp, they still had copies left of their 2013 release, featuring a track by Tim and his wife Cari, who together are known as Couples Skate Only (a wonderful band name, IMHO). This track, “First Christmas,” is absolutely fantastic, and when I saw that 2017 features Couples Skate Only again, I was psyched. I purchased it, song unheard, and sit here ready to plug what I thought, and confirmed, would be a damn fun song. “Absentees & Invites (The Solstice Show)” follows “First Christmas'” wall-of-synths production, and once again features Cari’s lovely indiepop vocal stylings. The song involves a couple trying to find their way to a winter solstice party, which is of particular note as I’ve been making a mix for 13 years now and this my be the first solstice song I can remember. Please know, I’m sure there are many more, but I can’t honestly peg any at this moment, which makes this song even more interesting. As for Zebra Zebra’s contribution, I’m guessing that the sampled shouts were either Laura and Eileen Thorton, AKA Zebra Zebra. I know that Laura is a toddler/big girl (I have a 4 year old “big boy”), so perhaps Eileen is a baby? This is indeed a family affair, which makes it all the more adorable.
Bottom Line: A synth-drenched indiepop treat indeed. Couples Skate Only have the potential to be one of the indiepop Christmas greats, alongside Christmas Aguilera, Charlies’s Hand Movements, etc, etc.