Philadelphia’s A Sunny Day In Glasgow recently got into the holiday season by releasing their first bit of Christmas music called New Christmas Classics EP. I caught up with the band to have a yule tide discussion of gifts, giving, and Home Alone 2.
Your new EP is called New Christmas Classics, what made you want to do a Christmas album?
It’s been on the list of things to do for us for a while. I think we all really like this time of year and it’s fun to contribute to the season.
We love the Geographic North guys and when we were in Athens on tour over the summer they invited us to make a record for this winter-themed series they were planning. So we were excited about that and then it’s great to make xmas music. One of my favorite Christmas memories is from the last time we were in Atlanta in 2009 when the GN guys invited us to a Christmas party after our show there. Jen wound up doing this acapella version of “All I Want for Christmas is You” that brought the house down.
My family used to throw an annual caroling party when I was growing up, which I then imported to Philly when I moved there. I really loved it and have lots of happy memories of ringing strangers’ doorbells and then seeing their confusion turn to delight when we started in on a tune. Here in Australia you don’t get many carolers, though, so I was excited about the opportunity to bring Christmas music to the unsuspecting again.
Christmas needs some new songs
How did you deal with having to write and record Christmas songs well before the holiday season? Was it hard to get into the holiday spirit?
Christmas is a time of potent memories for me, memories that don’t feel difficult to recall, vividly. And to be fair we were quoting Home Alone 2 in July so, it’s never too far from our collective memory.
I live in Australia, so when I came home from summer tour it was Winter. I guess I kind of cheated.
Yeah, so it was actually pretty easy. It was nice to have that outlet actually, because while it doesn’t get that cold here it did rain for about 6 weeks straight and it had a similar SAD-type effect.
Are there any songs on the album that you think could be a new Christmas classics along the lines of Wham!‘s “Last Christmas”?
I’ve been listening to “The Strange Presents of Idols (Merry Christmas!)” quite a bit but, I guess we’ll see if we get that hankering to listen to it around November next year.
I was aiming more for “Fairytale of New York”. Maybe next year…
Unlikely, but if that long-awaited doo-wop revival ever hits, the last track could have some staying power.
I’m a little bah humbug about Christmas, so “Shut Your Mouth It’s Christmas” kind of applies to me. I played it for some friends and family at thanksgiving (also bullshit holiday) and it seemed to make people really happy
What’s the best Christmas gift you have ever received?
I’ll say my first guitar. It’s a piece of shit Yamaha acoustic that I still have today and that I’ve used to write probably 95% of the songs I’ve ever written. I don’t think my brain can process how much time I’ve spent with this present.
Oh, an American Girl Doll, hands down. My parents had to save long and hard for that thing and I still have it. And now apparently you can sell them for $250 on eBay so, good investment Mom and Dad! (It was Felicity, if you were wondering.)
Finally, how will you be spending Christmas? And what are you most looking forward to about it?
We’ll be spending a lot of time practicing for some shows we have at the end of the year, which usually includes hanging out after practice, which I always enjoy.
I’m hoping to see some snow.
I might actually try to bring back the caroling party this year when I am home visiting — watch your doorbells!
I love the Christmas music when I’m shopping at department stores