Eston “Lights on the Tree” (2013)

Eston "Light on the Tree" (2013)

Buy: Free!

“Lights on the Tree” is an excellent little tune by Raleigh, NC’s Eston. Brought to my attention by Stu from the Love Language (who lent his production skills, synth and backing vocals to the track), its warm production is a pleasant change from the largely emotional Christmas songs I’ve been writing about (and loving) lately. The lyrics are quite good too. My favorite part comes in the last verse:

Now you’re hardly gonna know so the day comes and goes mostly goes
feel it from your bed when your wrapped up in red,
Now your toes unfroze so that’s how I told you it goes
round and round the tree there for you and for me.

I love a song with a good ending.

Bottom Line: Great original tune, a free download, and it never hurts to have one of indie rock’s most accomplished Christmas songsmith’s fingers in mix. 4.4/5


The Love Language “White Christmas,” “Gsus,” “Christmas in Toyland” (2008-2011)

The Love Language

Bladen County Records/Merge Records/Self-Released
Bandcamp! (well, for 2 of them)

The Love Language make some fine indie rock in Raleigh, NC… and in the proud tradition of their fellow Raleigh-ites, The Rosebuds, have some incredible Christmas tunes.

In 2008, the Love Language released “White Christmas” on a (now long-lost) download-only comp put out by Bladen County Records. However, this is not your parents’ “White Christmas.” You can’t get much darker than “Santa bring my baby to me / I’m gonna hang myself from a Christmas Tree / But all the ones that I’ve bought / They’re only six feet tall.” So… be prepared… and also be ready for some fantastic music. This song sounds amazing. — EDIT: This was also released as “White Christmas/Black Fetus” by the Light Language, a meeting of the Love Language and the Light Pines! I don’t know how I just discovered this link!!

2010 saw the Love Language move on from Bladen County Records, and head for the bright lights of indie-rock powerhouse Merge. It also marks the first year of (what I really hope is) a yearly tradition of last-minute Christmas songs released to the Raleigh-centric (duh) blog “Gsus” is a fantastic groove, one that made its way onto my 2011 mix and remains a personal favorite. It was recorded by Stu and BJ, with voicemails from the band members who were out of town – which sounds odd, but totally works. YOU NEED THIS.

The Love Language released “Christmas in Toyland” to last year… also in the nick of time (Dec. 23). Another great song… a bit of a slow-burner, but very well worth it. Check it out.

My fingers are crossed… and I’ve been checking The Love Language’s FB and for the past few days, hoping for another late Christmas gift from one of the great composers of indie rock Christmas classics.

Bottom Line: Free downloads of fantastic original songs. 5/5 


Download 2011’s “Christmas in Toyland