Memoryhouse has finally done it! They have compiled all the loose Christmas songs from over the years, packaged them together with a new, original tune (!), all for a low-low price that benefits rabbit shelters! I’ve previously many of the older Memoryhouse Christmas songs, so I’ll focus mainly on “Merry Christmas Babe.” The sweet electro-pop frames the scene of a snowy Christmas scene, wasting the day as it snows outside. However, nothing is as idyllic as it seems. There are some complicated feelings toward Christmas floating above these synthesizers.
You always hated christmas both, why do you have to be that way?
Made you wear your mittens and we skated all night on the lake.
There’s no other time of year we try so hard to be OK,
But since the roads are so bad, why don’t we stay in and waste the day?
Bottom Line: Memoryhouse have a great touch when it comes to Christmas songs, and this complicated, beautiful song only solidifies them as one of best out there.
Why not round out the week by rounding out my Memoryhouse posts with their one remaining Christmas/New Years track? Back in January 2012, Memoryhouse covered this classic Zombies’ track to celebrate the new year. Posted and hosted by Self-Titled Magazine, this cover is certainly worth your time. The noisy guitar parts that they every-so-often intersperse differentiate it from the wonderful Mynabirds’ version enough to let it stand on its own.
Bottom Line: Free download. Great song. Great Band. Why not? 4.4/5
Memoryhouse released their second Christmas tune this past season, a cover of the Andrews Sisters’ minor classic, “Christmas Island.” As to be expected, it is quite pretty. The synths and drum machine give it an atmosphere that I haven’t heard on this song before – so it certainly checks off that “make it your own” requirement of a good cover. Not quite sure how I feel about the guitar solos, but I’ve never been a guitar solo guy to begin with. The track also benefits the New Moon Rabbit Rescue, so with every seasonal dollar you send, they help care for some adorable rabbits.
Bottom Line: Memoryhouse highlight a less-often-covered tune, and do it well. They might not have knocked my socks off (yet), but I’ll give it some more time to sink in. Generally well chosen, executed, and intentioned. 3.9/5
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
Buy: 7″ Vinyl | Saddle Creek MP3 | Amazon UK MP3
The Mynabirds‘ Christmas release, All I Want is Truth (for Christmas), is the perfect Christmas release. A Christmas protest song! A Zombies cover! The title track is lyrically interesting, musically engaging, and should be considered an indie-classic. The Zombies’ cover of “This Year will Be Our Year” sets the stage for future female voices (Memoryhouse) to cover this fantastic song.
For the collector out there, there are 200 on white vinyl, 300 on black vinyl.
I wish the Mynabirds would release a Christmas single every year.
Bottom Line: Both songs are FANTASTIC. 5/5