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The CHIRP Blog

Tyler Clark writesTop 25 Christmas Songs of the Last 25 Years: #9 - Sally Shapiro, “Anorak Christmas”

It's the holiday season, which means Christmas music. Lots and lots or Christmas music, most of which was written before the people listening to it were even alive. While "Jingle Bells" and "We Three Kings" are great, and resilient, we're devoting this year to finding the best Christmas song written since 1989. We continue today with #9, and a carol you can dance to from Sally Shapiro.
 



#9: Sally Shapiro, "Anorak Christmas" (2006)

As Stereogum's Tom Breihan put it in his recent review of the new Christmas track by Dum Dum Girls, "If there’s any such thing as a not-great Christmas-themed synthpop song, I haven’t heard it." Neither have I, Tom, and that certainly includes this track from the mysterious Sally Shapiro. If a snow angel came to life and decided to write a danceable love song, it would probably sound something like "Anorak Christmas." Filled with a quiet passion that threatens to melt the chilly Italo synths that surround her voice, Shapiro issues a breathy plea to her newfound love. Whether or not he hears it is beside the point—when the days are short and the nights are long, even an imagined love is usually enough to keep someone going until spring.

The song also earns an extra point for the wordplay in its title; "anorak" here likely refers to both a winter coat (which Shapiro is probably wearing) and a British slang term for a person with a geeky or obsessive love or hobby (falling in love with stranger at a rock show most certainly counts). Anyone looking for a closer for their Unrequited Crush Mixtape, Holiday Edition: this one's on us.

Share December 17, 2014 http://chrp.at/bQZ Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: Christmas Top 25

Tyler Clark writesTop 25 Christmas Songs of the Last 25 Years: #10 - Low, “Just Like Christmas”

It's the holiday season, which means Christmas music. Lots and lots or Christmas music, most of which was written before the people listening to it were even alive. While "Jingle Bells" and "We Three Kings" are great, and resilient, we're devoting this year to finding the best Christmas song written since 1989. We continue today with #10, and an ode to Christmas on the road from Low.
 




#10: Low, "Just Like Christmas" (1999)

This Friday is predicted to be the busiest airline travel day of the 2014 holiday season, the peak of a 17-day period in which more than 45 million people will crisscross the skies over America, looking for (or getting away from) home. The urge to return to our origins hits strongest during the winter, whether the journey takes us to a physical place or a group of people or the signifiers of our youth. It's a subject covered by many classics carols ("Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and the tearjerkingly on-the-nose "I'll Be Home For Christmas" chief among them), and it seems to be on the mind of Low's Mimi Parker as she rambles through the Scandanavian countryside.

Although it's got all of the snow and sleigh bells needed to make our top ten (and score a plum spot on 2004's The O.C. Mix 3: Have A Very Merry Chrismukkah), the action of "Just Like Christmas" doesn't necessarily take place during the holidays. Rather, the song speaks to the power of human interactions, especially those entered into when you're cold and lost and far from home, to conjure the same kind of warmth usually reserved for the December 25s of our bubble-light-illuminated memories. It wraps its all-weather sentiment in some shiny holiday trimmings, waiting to be opened whenever it's needed most. If you wind up delayed in an airport during the next three weeks, you know where to find it.

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Categorized: Christmas Top 25

SKaiser writesOverlooked Albums of 2014: Morgan Delt

Morgan Delt | Morgan Delt | Trouble In Mind Records

"I think we've become unstuck in time and everything is going to move all at once from now on," Morgan Delt said of his approach to music. Do you hear a transcendence through the decades by way of 1960's production trickery, or simply a map to our roots? It may be only the reflection we deduce from experience. Regardless, Morgan Delt's debut self-titled album landed #7 on Norman Records Top 50 Albums of 2014. The album's flow of low percussion tones, intense bass, layered with colorful drums and Delt's wispy lyrics inspires one to grab a crown of flowers, or at least a tambourine. You may've already picked up Morgan Delt's cassette-only release, Psychic Death Hole, in December 2012. Careful: the 2014 album offers five additional songs to get lost in. These 11 tracks will add up to 32:45 you may need to repeat. Then repeat again. If we all thoroughly digested this album, then came together for a healthy discussion, there would be just as many opinions on its meaning. Which is all good, since that's just the way Mr. Delt wants it.

Share December 15, 2014 http://chrp.at/bNN Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: Overlooked Albums

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