Labrador Records/Matinée Recordings
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I am no stranger to stretching the definition of a Christmas song; I fully embrace a good winter song, the imagery of falling snow, the chill in the air, etc. However… this might be the most Van Damme I will get on this blog. Red Sleeping Beauty are the kind of Swedish synth-pop that I can get behind, as all their previous Christmas tunes have found a way onto these digital pages. (If you share members with my beloved Acid House Kings, you will get noticed by me.) So, I was excited to receive a DM from RSB a few weeks ago hipped me to a new single! “The Swedish Winter” certainly tackles the long, cold nights that those in the upper-regions of the northern hemisphere suffer through – but the celebration that bursts from the song is all about summer. This is definitively NOT a Christmas song. Yet somehow… I began to think that this song might be a good finale to a Christmas/winter mix. Christmas (and your mix) is over… so what else do you have to look forward to? Summer. “You lose your faith / and you lose your mind / the Swedish winter / The darkest times / and the darkest thoughts / the Swedish winter/ Then suddenly, a ray of light / to save your soul / Get ready cause here comes the summer / and everything feels right.”
Bottom Line: This is synth pop at its synthiest and popiest, and will most certainly satisfy fans of the genre.
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Red Sleeping Beauty returned from a long hiatus earlier this year, which was wonderful news in my world. To top it all off, for their first new song in 17 years, they recorded a new Christmas song! “Merry Christmas, Marie” sounds like classic RSB. This is high quality indie pop, and for those who love 1990s-2000s indie pop, a gift from a above.
Bottom Line: Red Sleeping Beauty have returned, doing what they do best. 4.5/5
Marsh-Marigold (EP) / Siesta (Compilation)
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Associated with the wonderful Acid House Kings (in that they share one member), Red Sleeping Beauty
were active from 1992-1997 are recently back in the swing of things with a new track (a cover) on the bonus disc of Alpaca Sports’ debut release. For those, like me, who have followed that Swedish indie-pop rabbit hole down a good ways, this is good news.
Red Sleeping Beauty, like the Acid House Kings, dabbled in a seasonal tune on their first release. Amazingly enough, both songs were titled “Christmas,” and were released in the same year (1992) on the same record label (Marsh-Marigold). However, one song is significantly better than the other – and my (unfortunate) distaste for the AHK song left me with quite low expectations for the RSB tune. I was, however, quite pleasantly surprised. Red Sleeping Beauty recorded a perfectly fine indie-pop Christmas tune, very much in the style of the genre, but with a nice bed of fuzz to build the male/female vocal interplay upon. Originally released on their 1992 debut EP, Pop Sounds, it is much easier located on 2000’s Siesta singles compilation appropriately titled, Singles.
Bottom Line: Solid indie-pop from Sweden gets my vote. As I live with this tune some more, it might get a few more points… we’ll see. 3.9/5