It’s been such a strange year and in the spirit of togetherness and community, we’re going to be counting down to Christmas by sharing a selection of our – and our friends’ – favourite festive songs. Today, we – and Matt from Lakes – have chosen ‘She Came Home for Christmas’ by Mew. Roberto from Lakes also talks through the band’s latest ‘kinda Christmassy original’, ‘Pine Barrens’.
We’d still count ‘Frengers’ as one of THE great albums of the early 2000s and ‘She Came Home for Christmas’ – alongside the closing ‘Comforting Sounds’, of course – stands out as one of the highlights. Powerful, emotional and with sadness running throughout (‘Now you’ve come back like you left us’; ‘It’s not me, it can’t be. It’s not you. I can’t do what I do if it’s you. This is not happening.’), it’s a melancholic addition to any festive playlist.
Unfortunately I don’t tend to do all that much “happy” music – there’s just something a bit weird about it for me. Generally Christmas music is happy music, which I suppose makes sense, so my all-time favourite “Christmas” song is pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum!
“She Came Home For Christmas” by Mew (from the album “Frengers”) could be interpreted in a couple of different ways – however there’s no getting around the fact that it’s a very dark song! There’s just something about the songwriting, production and arrangements on this song and the rest of Frengers as a whole though that is just SO wintery! It’s so twinkly and sparkly and shimmering. And absolutely epic. Such a winter staple for me.
This song sums up all that is great about Mew too, from the twinkling verses to the epic Scandi post-rock choruses. Plus that little strummy pick-up into the first bridge at 0:38 is quite possibly the finest one second in the whole Mew back catalogue (am I getting carried away now?).
Anyway, I always listen to this song around Christmas, I just can’t help it. Join me in the misery!
Matt – Lakes
Lakes – ‘Pine Barrens‘
There are layers for days with this one. Pine Trees mean so many different things to people; fertility, longevity…Christmas! But this is a story about the bubble of a long distance relationship, and understanding the consequences of going through the motions when someone else’s heart is in your hands. In other words, accepting that you’ve been a bit of a dickhead…maybe…or it could just be a sad song that features the word Christmas – you decide! What I do know is that it was a good excuse to name a song after an episode of the Sopranos. It’s also the first song we’ve recorded, mixed and mastered ourselves – all done remotely during lockdown, and with several trips to the post office sending equipment back and forth!