A Christmas Alternative: 12 Songs Of Christmas: Nine : Helen Love

12 Songs Of Christmas – Day Nine  Helen Love ( and Ricardo Autobahn) “And The Salvation Army Band Plays
Over 12 (working) days, I’m suggesting 12 songs that probably don’t get the airplay they deserve this time of year and should be regarded as Christmas/Seasonal Classics.

Cult Welsh DIY artist Helen Love has released a plethora of brilliant, glittering Christmas singles over the years—from imagining Joey Ramone as a snowman to a celebration of community spirit on 2015’s “The Town Hall Band” to being inspired by a Twitter spat with Kirstie Alsop and her army of online crafters on “Glitter Star”. But it was her 2012 Christmas single that saw her team up with Ricardo Autobahn (Cuban Boys), which remains her festive opus. “And The Salvation Army Band Plays” has pretty much everything you’d want from a modern-day Christmas song.

Despite it being ten years old, the lyrics still resonate. Broken hearts, Broken Britain broken windows, debt, loss and everything’s all a bit rubbish, yet Christmas arrives and provides a sparkling glimmer of hope in the bleakest of winters as The Salvation Army Band invokes some much-needed Christmas spirit. Additionally, should you look up the dictionary definition of bittersweet, it will simply state – “And The Salvation Army Band Plays” by Helen Love.

When such a brilliant song doesn’t get a wider audience, it’s difficult not to point the finger at radio gatekeepers and their abject lack of imagination when it comes to discovering new Christmas music. This is a seasonal masterpiece and should have topped the Xmas charts at least a couple of times. So move over Mariah make way for the Welsh Queen of Indie Christmas pop.

“The windows are broken,

there’s ice in the house.

There are no heating tokens,

so the fire’s gone out.

Not a word here is spoken,

only silence and doubt.

Since you left…”

It also appears on this year’s ” Have Yourself a Merry Indie Christmas Vol III , Kevin McGrath’s excellent compilation which raises money for Crisis, grab a copy below


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