Album: Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler, This is Christmas (Infectious)

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The Independent Culture

In which indie singer-songwriter Emma-Lee Moss and Ash frontman Tim Wheeler, a couple in real life, join musical forces and attempt, valiantly and with not inconsiderable success, to breathe new life into that stalest of stale old genres: the Christmas song.

Not that they exactly reinvent the wheel in the process: much of the album consists of Ash-style power pop with additional 1960s jingle bells. The lyrics, too, deal with the traditional subjects of absent lovers at Christmas and the like. Well, most of the time. On "(Don't Call Me) Mrs Christmas", Moss outs Santa as a dirty love rat who does more than just sneak down chimneys when he's away on business, complete – as every great Yuletide tearjerker should be – with a heartfelt talking bit.

If there's one regret it's that the pair decided against releasing this under their original working name for the project: Sleigher.