Monday, December 28, 2015

Song of the Day #247 - LCD Soundsystem - Christmas Will Break Your Heart

So you refuse to leave your bed/Get depressed when no one checks

Merry Christmas! Or I guess the exact opposite of "merry", in this case. We didn't get anything on the tier of 05 Fuck Em, let alone the miracle leak of Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2008, but there was a nice trifecta of song releases that we'll cover here on the next few days. First off is this NEW SONG by LCD Soundsystem, which is exciting more for the possibilities it opens up than the song itself. It seems we're getting, at the very least, a festival tour, which is really just the most efficient way to make money off of your status, hard cashing in on those who missed out on your legendary farewell show and now panic, assuming that this will then be their definitely definite last chance... me included. But, y'know, it's something, and rumours around a new album are circulating and haven't been hard denied, often coming from the same sources that teased us about a new single. So have hope! We are living in exciting times!!

And the song itself is PRETTY SWEET too. James Murphy's lyrical work runs the gambit from "depressed about the scene" to "depressed about relationships" to "depressed about nothing", usually hitting a sweet spot where you feel possibly disconnected from the specifics of his situation, but somehow all the more involved in the feelings it provokes. Apparently this song has been kicking around in his head since 2007, and sort of feels like a holiday reskin of "New York I Love You". It has an air of festiveness, even beyond the jingle bells and stuff... there's a performance aspect to it, a "jam session" sort of feeling, that comes through strongly. It doesn't contradict the lonely and painful message as it does spread it around, so now you gotta think there's a piano player and a drummer and a violinist all bummed out on Christmas too.

Poor James Murphy, a run of 8 bad Christmases is a pretty painful lot. Like New York, it seems like Christmas is one of those "love it or leave it" things, i.e. if you were going to have a bad Christmas you probably just wouldn't have a Christmas at all (or if you get bummed out by New York, why go there?). Or at least that's how we typically see it depicted. But there are those who are stuck ideologically/geographically and must confront the pain. This is what that track is. Personally, my Christmases have always been exceedingly pleasant and loving, but I still feel him on this, somehow.

But is it a happy ending? Despite all this pain, he's still coming home to you! He's still... releasing new tracks for us? It's a pretty powerful message... not one of "I'll fix this" or "Christmas is good now!" but just "I'm gonna be there for you"... it feels real and close and intimate. You can hear that James is really feeling it too... the first time he leaps into his tender falsetto at 1:23 is bliss, and makes the shift into the meaty chorus all the more satisfying, not to mention his all-out fortissimo on the ending, just riding the edge of composure. He's still got it, which isn't surprising. The great and surprising part is that he's letting us hear it. More plssssss.

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