Sunturns are a group made up, seemingly, of all the Norwegian musicians who really like Christmas. For Christmas I & II is a set of original seasonal songs, boosted with a couple of covers (including of Low’s marvellous ‘Just Like Christmas’). Released on 1 white LP and 1 red LP on Fika.
6/10 Robin Staff review, 02 December 2015
I hate Clint so much. No editor should be delegating Christmas cheer to their underlings, and I’m now being asked to pre-emptively usher in the festive season by listening to a Norwegian supergroup dangle twee pop baubles from up on high. This thing really fucking twinkles, like Jens Lekman if he took himself super seriously and was in love with every ecstatic strum on his guitar. This is more saccharine than The School dancing in the final scene of God Help The Girl, plus it’s about Christmas.
Split into two sides -- a light side and a dark, honouring the idiosyncrasies of the season’s forced fun -- this record consists of many original Christmas songs played by members of classic Norwegian bands, bringing them together for Live Aid-esque harmonies, flashy pianos, giddy guitar riffs and super sweet-laced balladry. The first side of the record redeems itself with a cover of Low’s “Just Like Christmas”, which sticks out like a sore thumb: they take the most miserable band’s jolliest song and make it melancholy as fuck -- with the numbed dual vocals and miserable chimes, it sounds just short of Johnny Foreigner.
Purported to be the darker, eviler twin to the first disc, our second disc actually sounds as Belle & Sebastian-y as ever, a cleanly produced and placating affair that’s kinda said but ultimately chill. These people make nice music, and here it's about Christmas -- lead with that in your headlines. And delete me from your Christmas card list -- my name is Robin by accident.
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- Christmas I & II by Sunturns
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