Christmas singles are often quirky affairs. And given that making oddball records is something of a Morton Valence speciality Christmas in Valence is just a reaffirmation of their talents. Musically it’s an easy enough song to chart: consisting of a simple plodding strum, embellished with – in order of appearance – a Jews harp, a tambourine, a reedy synth and a “crackling fire” noise; (or a “rain beating against the window” noise, take your pick).
What – of course – makes it a great listen are the lyrics: the track is trussed up very much in that classic Morton Valence “style”. The band run through a set of lugubrious musings on imaginary lovers, hopes for the future and faraway places, the goodwill being regularly leavened out with the odd sardonic aside. They are very good at balancing wishful flights of fancy with the mundane realities of commuter land: no-one does this kind of sardonic aside as well as MV: try “open up your presents / the receipt’s inside”. Now that’s a killer line, one Tommy Trinder would have paid for. A pleasant and good natured track, they even make having a love heart tattoo sound inviting.
The vid’s here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYkpFBECD-4&feature=youtu.be