The Marías “We’re the Lucky Ones” (2020)

Superclean Records
Buy:
7Digital (FLAC/MP3) | Apple Music | Amazon MP3 | Amazon.uk MP3 | Amazon.de MP3 | Amazon.fr MP3

Want to know a dirty secret about Christmas Underground? This site was meant to not only share music with you all, but also so that you all would give ME tips for new Christmas songs. Thank you @demhahavgc!

Readers of this blog may also remember that earlier in the year, I was wrestling with whether this silly blog was a welcome distraction or a frivolous endeavor. Our society was fraying at the seams (still is), and writing about Christmas music felt insensitive and frankly, a bit daft at the time. Somehow, I found a way out, and here we are. I still haven’t truly answered my question about the worth of this pursuit, but some beautiful notes from a number of you have certainly helped my journey back.

After that brief (not) intro, lets get back to the reason we all are here -> LA-based jazz/psych-influenced indie pop band The Marías have just released a beautiful one-off Christmas single, with a sentiment that I really identify with (see above – there had to be a reason I was blabbering on so much!).

we’re releasing a new song tonight, the last release of the year. this one holds the most special place in our hearts. ⁣

Someone on our team asked if we’d ever write a christmas song, and although we were never opposed to it, the thought of writing a christmas song this year honestly made me really sad. ⁣⁣

hundreds of thousands of lives were lost this year in the u.s. alone that won’t make it to christmas, and their families will have an empty seat at the table. i truly feel lucky to be alive. ⁣⁣

as we begin to plan for and celebrate this holiday season, let’s light a candle and reflect on the many, many lives that were lost. and let’s all be grateful for something as simple as a beating heart. we’re the lucky ones. ⁣

this is our christmas song for this year.

The Marías (Facebook, October 28, 2020)

The Marías are in the same headspace as a lot of us this year, dragging a mixture of sadness, love and survivor’s guilt into the holiday season. They do so with this stripped-back beauty that showcases the emotion of lead singer María Zardoya’s voice. I had to live with this a few days before writing about it… the emotion of the lyrics and the sentiment behind the creation had me reflecting on all those complicated feelings I had earlier in the year, as well as the anxieties of this week… and how that might further color the upcoming holiday season. It did bring me some peace… I hope it brings you some too.

Bottom Line: A truly beautiful song for a fraught time.

LISTEN

Ratigan “The Rights to Christmas” (2020)

Self Released
Buy:
Bandcamp (NYOP)

“Santa Claus is sponsored by / Applebees and Light Rock 105. / Coca-Cola bought the rights to Christmas. / Coca-Cola bought the rights to Christmas.”

That… fuckin… chorus. Hook… line… sinker. Boy, I do love some snark in my Christmas pudding.

Providence, Rhode Island’s Ratigan has written this scruffy, barely Christmas-adjacent song that just made me smile. The production and delivery had me thinking of a close neighbor of his, Boston’s wonderful Soltero (who also has at least one xmas gem too), as his clever lyrics and nearly talk-singing style would most certainly hang out in the same circle of friends. This is bedroom pop as I imagine bedroom pop should sound – intimate, clever, and just a little rough around the edges. Hopefully you’ll feel so too.

Bottom Line: Sup. Wanna hang out and listen to some tunes? Want to smile and not think about out impending doom? Niiiiiicccce.

LISTEN

Mellow Fellow and Floor Cry “New Year’s Eve” (2017)

Mellow Fellow and Floor Cry - New Year's Eve

Self Released
Buy: Stream | Bandcamp (soon?) |

Mellow Fellow, a bedroom-pop genius from the Philippines (who it appears, Soundcloud was invented for), teamed up with Manitoba’s wonderful Floor Cry for a lush tale of a sad, sad New Year’s Eve. The chill vibe, and the beautifully layered instrumentation nearly lets you forget that this song is pretty devastating. The fractured relationship plays out as both parties have a full realization of their roles – she knows that she loves him, but only shows it when convenient, and he won’t take the emotional strain anymore. A late night call that remains unanswered on New Year’s Eve, dressed up with some beautiful performances and production. Highly recommended.

Of note, Floor Cry is no stranger to holiday tunes – I’ve attached her covers of “White Christmas” and “Wonderful Christmastime” (please, everyone, stop covering this) to a playlist. Both are available on her Bandcamp as well.

Bottom Line: A beautiful downer – right up my alley.

LISTEN