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WE REVIEW THE NEW SINGLE FROM DON’T CALL ME ISHMAEL – IT’S CHRISTMAS (LET’S PRETEND WE’RE FINE)

Don’t Call Me Ishmael are a band with a good heart. Endearing themselves to audiences with both an energetic outlook and impressive vocal harmonisations, the group have spent much of these past few years releasing a series of EPs, each representative of a season.

A similar project was undertaken by Weezer this year, apt as Weezer’s aesthetic is perhaps an influence, especially with the band’s newest release – ‘It’s Christmas (Let’s Pretend We’re Fine)’. Any queries regarding the seriousness of this title are addressed within the opening lyric.

‘We’re mixing Valium with cherry coke and rum’ they proclaim, before elaborating – ‘it takes the edge off’. This may all sound juvenile, and in fairness it probably is, but Don’t Call Me Ishmael deserve some credit for their observational humour.

The formulaic nature of Christmas – and the compulsory fun that ensues – often results in individuals being forced to remind themselves – ‘it’s Christmas, let’s pretend we’re fine’. It’s not always easy though, especially given how an often saccharine, and alarmingly limited, playlist of Christmas songs perennially haunts us.

This all makes Don’t Call Me Ishmael’s deconstruction of festive music so smart. By gently mocking Christmas, they deliver an opening lyric so funny; it detracts from the mulled wine you probably didn’t want anyway.

But ultimately, they remain positive; a lyric like ‘let’s have no sorrow until tomorrow’ summarises the band’s kindness. ‘Let’s enjoy ourselves’ they’re effectively saying, ‘we rarely get the chance.’ It’s comedically warm-hearted and, without revealing spoilers, the music video is equally hilarious.

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