Christmas-y Indie

Toby Smith 15 January 2009


A Snowflake fell (and it Felt Like a Kiss) (Columbia)

Released Nov 24

They had to scrape the jaws of the execs at Columbia off the floor the day that Glasvegas front man James Allen set the conditions for signing to them. With critical adoration and an army of record labels trying to snap them up, he could have asked for anything, money, women or a dinosaur, if he wanted. Instead, his precondition for signing any contract was that he was allowed to record a Christmas album in Transylvania!

Thankfully, plans for a full album were condensed. Glasvegas have produced a rather lovely little mini-album consisting of only six tracks, including a reverb drenched, piano based intro clocking in at less than two minutes and a wonderful, melancholy version on ‘Silent Night’, complete with eerie piano and a chamber choir.

Mind you, this Christmas effort is a far from jolly affair. With songs about lost love (‘Fuck You It’s Over’, ‘Please Come Back Home’) and being homeless at Christmas (‘Cruel Moon’) sung in a sentimental Scottish drawl. James Allen seems intent of saying ‘God fuck you merry gentlemen, why were you so merry in the first place.’ There are rays of hope, particularly in the title track, But even that song is set in a graveyard.

Glasvegas have done something quite special. They have shown that they have much more to offer sonically than their debut album demonstrated, and they’ve shown they have the potential to make their ‘difficult second album’ a breeze.

Toby Smith