The logo for The Sleigher.
Credit: Julia Terbrock

HO HO WHO: Liam Payne, former One Direction member who isn’t Harry Styles, and Dixie D’Amelio (who?), a TikTok star (oh), have teamed up to deliver a vaguely winter-themed sex song. The only things thinner than the narrative are the veiled euphemisms for getting it on. TWO different drivers get stuck in the snow in order to propel this love story forward, and yet it ends abruptly in just over two and a half minutes. Payne released a similarly brief original Christmas song in 2019, a breakup anthem called “All I Want (For Christmas),” which at least offers pretty piano and a story arc. 

STEEL DRUMS?: I have now contributed at least 13 streams to the more than seven million the song has received so far on Spotify trying to determine if the sound of steel drums is real or an auditory hallucination triggered by boredom and bad lyrics. The jury is still out on the misplaced island rat-a-tat, but the lyric “we’ll misbehave with kisses like snowflakes all over your body” is all too real. 

WE WERE SUPPOSED TO TAKE IT SLOW: I need to know when this was written, because if “I didn’t mean to get you in trouble” doesn’t read like an apology for breaking clearly defined social distancing restrictions agreed upon by housemates before a date, I don’t know what is. Is this “naughty list” a contact tracing call sheet? What about “the way we kissed” got them in trouble, exactly? Was it through masks or without? Which is worse? The song asks more questions than it answers, but “365 days, you’re at my place” sounds like they’re quarantining together now, at least. 

CHEER FACTOR: 4/10. The pop beats, peppy guitar, and light use of sleigh bells are cheery enough, but the undertone of guilt and regret in a song about giving in to the heat of the moment despite better judgement feels too real to be playful right now.

To listen to this song, and all this year’s Sleigher selections, check out our playlist on Spotify.