Local makers of original Christmas indie rock, the Silver Bells have a unique knack for creating crushingly sad holiday songs that make you feel pretty good, combining the theme of breakups with an energetic beat for some (but not all) tracks — take, for instance, titles like "Can We Stay Together Through New Year's Eve" and "Santa Doesn't Care About You" off their December 2014 debut LP It's Christmas, Everybody
. Yet their songs — somehow, some way — have uplifting, or at least humorous, undertones that still — somehow, some way — give listeners a case of the warm fuzzies.
The Silver Bells' latest release, a two-single package called This is Gonna Be Our Year
is no different. Despite the despair of lines like, "Another year has passed, and Jesus Christ I guess we've made it" and "Put the tinsel away, we don't need it anymore/ Take the tree, throw it out the fucking door," the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel message is clear that "This is Gonna Be Our Year." Seriously, how do they do that?
This is what the band had to say about the release on Facebook
"Ok, so: 2016.
"I’m sure some of you had a good year – maybe you got a baby, maybe you got a new boyfriend, maybe you got a new job and then went to see Hamilton - obviously, there had to be some good moments over the course of 365 days. For the most part, though, 2016 was an endless series of gut punches, except that when you fell on the ground, it kept kicking you in the stomach. THEN, it grabbed your hands and made you do that “why are you hitting yourself” thing. There’s a pretty good chance your favorite singer died, or maybe a pet, or maybe someone more important. Less than 25 percent of the country voted for a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, narcissistic maniac for President, and it looks like we’re stuck with him. So, yeah, not our best year.
"But hey, maybe 2017 is going to be better? Maybe we can make it better? I don't know. I hate motivational posters."
The second track, "These City Lights," isn't as upbeat but it imagines one last Christmas spent with a loved one ("If I could freeze the city lights on this almost-cold December night/ I would light our Christmas tree/ What I'd give to hold your hand, all of this just to make you laugh/ I would hold you close, all I need is you here with me"), poignantly underlining just how deeply affecting the holiday season can be for so many.
It's about time someone made some honest holiday music, and we're pretty proud that Charleston's own are still doing it so well.
Listen for yourself here: