U.S. Highball “Marge’s Second Christmas” (2022)

Lame-O Records/Bingo Records

I’m not shy when it comes to hunting down Christmas tunes. I was scouring indiepop Facebook, spot-checking bands with keyword searches, and came across the Scottish indiepop band U.S. Highball. The two members of U.S. Highball had both been in the band The Pooches, who released a 4-song Christmas EP a number of years back and was no longer available. Thus, I reached out with the hope that it might still exist somewhere. The band, specifically the half of the band named Calvin Halliday, was extremely sweet and got back to me quickly – that EP was lost! Well, as luck would have it, I am friends with (and live in the same town as) No Love for Ned, a fellow indiepop and underground Christmas music fan. Ned also has a very generous physical and digital collection… and he had it! A couple covers, short and lovely, notably including “Jesus Christ” by Big Star. Wasn’t that a very long story to tell you that Calvin mentioned he and James Hindle were currently working on a Christmas song?! Here we have “Marge’s Second Christmas,” and it is a ton of fun. The song began as a demo Calvin had recorded over ten years ago, worked into a Christmas song, and recorded and released into the world as a beautiful tribute to Calvin’s dog Marge. I want to feel the way about my new puppy that Calvin did about Marge, but puppies will test that love. Think I’m crazy? Have you had a puppy? Or have you just enjoyed other folk’s puppies? Adult dogs, 2-year-old dogs like Marge… those dogs know what’s up and how to be a dog. A puppy is an adorable ball of fur and destruction. The tiny, tiny holes in my clothes…

Ah yes! All proceeds go to Give a Dog a Bone – a charity that tackles loneliness and isolation for folks over 60 through animal companionship. It is the season of giving, so give it a listen, then give generously.

Bottom Line: UPBEAT Christmas indiepop in a season of chill, introspective tunes… you are going to need to mix it up, and this pup will lead the way.


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