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ATP! Album Review: Never Shout Never - The Xmas EP

No matter your music taste throughout the year, we can almost guarantee that Christmas songs bring a little smile to your face. Come on, admit it. Like it or not, the time of year is upon us where we are bombarded with the holiday season no matter where we turn. To any scrooges out there, we're hoping that Never Shout Never's respectful (and precise) one-month-prior-to-the-day release of their seasonal The Xmas EP won't be too offensive. There's not a lot to hate on though in all honesty, unless you’re still one of those people stuck obsessing over Christofer Drew’s hair (“IT SHOULD JUST BE ABOUT THE MUSIC” – so lead by example, yeah?)

‘Winter Wonderland’ is nothing without a bit of a crooner at the mic. Whilst their rendition may be far from the original, Drew and co. muster a little something sparkly, in fitting form for the snowy paradise that awaits us year on year, which is so beautifully described in the lyrics. Whilst absolutely no credit can be given to the 3 piece for the creation of this masterpiece, obviously, they’ve certainly made a commendable effort to bring their own sound to the table. In fact - can something be both Mediterranean and Christmassy? Drew’s ethereal vocals dancing over the top of this track make a more than valid attempt.

‘Meet Me Under the Mistletoe’ sees Dia Frampton (of Meg & Dia/The Voice fame) step up the challenge of indie-fying Christmas. The pair delicately blend a deliciously sweet innocence with the sultry manner that Drew is now renowned for. In an original acoustic number which conjures seasonal imagery with a love story, finally culminating in beautiful, lilting harmonies, it would literally be a travesty if even the most hip of hipsters weren’t left satisfied by the time the final note rang out.

‘Everything Is Cool’ is one of those old-school, country-folk, my-life-sucked-until-I-found-you type things, complete with a harmonica, with a Christmas theme somehow thrown into the mix. Percussion features rather heavily in this four track EP, and its penultimate track is no exception. Forget crazy and erratic drums - think keeping steady time, and your very own musical invitation to a sleigh ride.

Finally, when approaching anything John Lennon touched first, it’s advisable to tread carefully. It would be very, very easy to murder a classic like ‘Merry Xmas (War Is Over)’ but whilst this sped up number is bound to have its critics, the jaunty yet spiritual choral overtones are bound to please most. Whilst, let’s face it, it was never going to live up to the original, part of the charm of the season is in its tradition of covers. This one shouldn’t disappoint; its message still resoundingly relevant in hopes for as-yet unattained peace worldwide.

Overall, this 15 minute winter warmer is everything it should be – short and sweet. It’s a shame it’s not Christmas year round because in all honesty, this might just be the most enjoyable Never Shout Never release to date. (But perhaps that’s just the time of year talking.)


Claire Louise Sheridan

The Xmas EP is out on November 25th via Loveway Records.

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