Charleston’s premier Christmas band is back for another holiday season, and this time they have a fresh vinyl single in hand.
You may recognize the cover of the single from one of our music section covers last December, shot by Jonathan Boncek inside a Mt Pleasant Christmas tree lot. That was when all four main Silver Bells — Nick Doyle (frontman, songwriter), Doug Thompson, Danny Infinger, and T. Ballard Lesemann – were all based in Charleston. A few months back, Lesemann relocated to Atlanta, which was the motivation behind creating the release.
“We’d played a couple of new songs last year, and I wanted to have a record of the four of us, since those shows were so fun,” Doyle says. “We recorded the drums with Tyler Ross in May — literally the day before Ballard left town — and then Doug, Danny, and I did the rest at Andy Dixon’s in August.”
Dixon’s Ramshackle Studios is also where the group recorded their debut, 2014’s It’s Christmas, Everybody!, a collection of indie-rock originals about getting presents, making out, and being sad during the holidays — it features cameos from Matt Bivins, Jonathan Gray, Jack Burg, Bill Carson, Michael Flynn, and more.
As for the new release, the vinyl features “Christmas Emergency!” on Side A and “This is Gonna Be Our Year” on Side B.
“Christmas Emergency!” is technically about having a crush on someone, but mostly I wanted to write a big Beach Boys-style song ,” Doyle says. “Of course, once I’d actually written it, it didn’t sound like that at all.”
“This is Gonna Be Our Year” is a reflection on how 2016 “was a giant dumpster fire for me,” Doyle says. “Personally, politically, all the ways.”
Though Doyle is known for writing songs that could make you cry, this track does have a more positive takeaway. In fact, he says it may be his favorite Silver Bells song they’ve recorded yet.
“I don’t really write happy songs, but the line popped into my head, and I liked the idea of having a mantra to repeat, even if it isn’t necessarily true,” he says. “I know this sounds like hippie BS, but if you say it enough times, it’ll come true, right? Right?”
You can stream the songs or purchase the single now on Bandcamp. Catch the Silver Bells (and grab a record) at Tin Roof on Wed. Dec. 19. More gig dates TBA.