"Tinsel and Marzipan" /
Pugwash and Friends
Talk about a feel-good track. This was released in December 2006 as a benefit for the Irish Epilepsy Association Brainwave. And, having only this year been seriously turned on to the wonderful music of Pugwash (with their awesome album Play Intimately (As If Among Friends)) I am so delighted to add this tune to my holiday playlist.
With a loping power-pop beat, this track is upbeat, energetic, and entirely what we need when there's only two more shopping days left before Christmas. Sure, it's festive, but the Christmas spirit needs more than trimmings. As lead singer Thomas Walsh explains, "I wrote my letter to Santa Claus / Asking him / If he could bring / Some peace and love to everyone." The idea's not new, but so far we haven't quite got there, so why not ask again?
And with Walsh's gorgeously easy voice, it sounds so earnest. Keys shift upward and that Wall of Sound effect builds, until it's practically like a little bit of Brian Wilson "Good Vibrations" magic.
Tinsel -- cheap stuff that somehow turns a home into a Christmas miracle. And marzipan, simple candy that gets molded into amazingly artistic shapes.
And what it all comes down to is that can't-ignore-it refrain -- "Merry Christmas everyone" -- with the "and friends" singing lustily along. It's repeated, and repeated again, until you realize that you too need to sing along. It's like believing in fairies, or knowing that there's no place like home -- say it often enough and it just might come true.