Spectral Nights Christmas Countdown 2020: Lakes choose Mew – ‘She Came Home for Christmas’

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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’.

Spectral Nights:

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.

Lakes:

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!

Roberto, Lakes

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