Daily Dose is your daily source for the song you absolutely, positively need to hear every day. Curated by the Paste Music Team.
As someone who didn’t celebrate Christmas growing up, I’ve always thought Christmas music is about as insufferable as it gets. Always full of clichés and unrealistic happy-go-lucky clunky lyrics, the music associated with that holiday made December 25th feel even worse than it already was: A day where nothing was open, none of my friends could hang out and I was stuck at home twiddling my thumbs until December 26th rolled around. Christmas is just the worst for people who don’t observe it.
But every now and then, a Christmas song clicks—usually the anti-Christmas downers or the absurdist covers—and is so undeniably great that it’ll break down the most Ebenezer Scrooge-esque critic inside of me. Enter Francis Lung’s “To Make Angels in Snow.”
Chock full of bouncy, playful guitars, horn solos and former WU LYF bassist Tom McClung’s calming vocals, “To Make Angels in Snow” sounds like some long-lost Belle & Sebastian rarity that’s been locked in a vault since the mid-’90s. Yearning for “someone who loves you” and “someone who takes you by the hand to make angels in snow,” it’s a charming song, one that’s entirely bolstered by gorgeous interwoven saxophones, clarinets and flutes seemingly in conversation with each other. Following August’s A Dream is U LP, “To Make Angels in Snow” is performed by members of McLung’s “wonderfully talented neighbors Kyran Matthews and Emily Burkhardt from the Manchester Jazz Collective,” who manage to perfectly enhance Francis Lung’s Real Estate-esque laid-back vibes.
McLung tells Paste: “‘To Make Angels In Snow’ is an alternative to the ultimate Christmas hit ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’—it’s more like ‘All I Want for Christmas Is Somebody New.’”
And maybe that tale of wanting that someone new—“Do you regret it at all / Every time you spend Christmas time / In the arms of someone you do not love?” McLung sings—is what makes this Christmas song more lifelike, a more down-to-earth portrayal of the holidays without some “White Christmas” bullshit. Or maybe it’s just a great song, Christmas or not.