Merry Christmas – The Night The Night Fell

The Night the Night Fell staggers out of the starting blocks all shambling arrangements and multiple vocals that waver in and out of tune in creaky falsettos, all of which gradually asserts itself as how-we-do-things-round-here as the intricacy and intelligence guiding the songs along their the jittery, eclectic way becomes clearer. The songs are playful with structure, shifting pace mid-song as they hop from movement to movement, hook to hook, working more and more towards collective hands-in-the-air moments as the album winds its way towards a climax. In this sense, Merry Christmas’ songs are miniature lo-fi symphonies along the lines of a scrappy, bedroom New Pornographers, albeit with the rock edge blunted in favour of a campfire acoustic singalong atmosphere underscored by fragile xylophone chimes and the occasional intrusion of brass or melodica. A ragged collection of songs for sure, but with a lot going on under the hood.

2 Comments

Filed under Albums, Reviews

2 responses to “Merry Christmas – The Night The Night Fell

  1. Andrew

    I like this. Hell, it actually got me to put together a Comment. Which I’d been meeeeaning to do for a while, but laziness. It had been going to say how much I’m enjoying the latest cornucopia of reviews and recommendations (Uhnellys my favorite before this one), it has hit the spot.
    Going back a little earlier, also thanks for Barbican Estate. I play the shit out of that, it’s intoxicating.
    As for this bunch — great spot on the New Pornographers, even the texture of the voices. The other big thing I hear is Canterbury, specifically Caravan, the vocal lines and the time changes and the general music-in-a-field-of-long-grass atmosphere.
    And maybe a bit of Yoshida Yohei Group — whom I miss — but not their tone and commitment to one phrase/groove. I’m also figuring YYG to be far less democratic.
    But why am I getting hung up on surface similarities? It’s the originality that makes it worthwhile.

    • Oh yeah, I can see the Canterbury connection in the song structures. I had this faint connection to the Cardiacs going around my head while I was trying to pin that aspect down and decided in the end that was a bit too tenuous, but the Canterbury scene nails that point more accurately. I felt a little something of that cluster of K Records-ish Japanese turn-of-the-millennium indie bands like My Pal Foot Foot to it as well, maybe in how they use things like the trombone, but also perhaps not quite close enough to make a point out of it. Anyway, glad you’re picking up stuff you like from here. Barbican Estate have some new tracks coming out one a month until the end of the year (the first one came out a couple of weeks ago), but they’re only on Spotify and things like that, so I’m going to wait for them to appear on Bandcamp or a physical format before covering them.

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