HO HO WHO: Blossoms is not the sort of band to take the world by storm. Even after hitting number one on the U.K. charts, they never made the move to London, much less to somewhere more exotic like New York or Los Angeles. Instead, they remained based in their hometown of Stockport, not far from the neighborhood pub that inspired their name. With shaggy stoner haircuts, approachable demeanors and half-a-dozen decent songs, Blossoms pulls fans into their colorful world every time they drop an album. In their native United Kingdom, they’ve been compared to the likes of Oasis and The Stone Roses. Back in June, Blossoms promised a Christmas song via Twitter. Months later, fans saw their patience rewarded with a double A-side.
LET’S GET THIS SLEIGHER OVER WITH: Christmas is the final way station at which we pause before moving on to a new year. With the holidays looming, one has a chance to review the past 350-some days and get a feel for where the world is heading. Looking back at 2020 we see … trash, mostly. So when Blossoms throws up their hands and starts a holiday jam with “let’s get this Christmas over with,” there’s a palpable sense of relief. The band released “It’s Going To Be A Cold Winter” alongside a cozier carol called “Christmas Eve (Soul Purpose.)” “It’s Going To Be A Cold Winter” is the superior track by a mile. Part of Blossoms’ gimmick is toeing the line between sweet and saccharine. “Christmas Eve” crosses that line, whereas “Cold Winter” bisects it with a streak of acidic humor.
HANG ON TO THAT GIFT RECEIPT: “It’s Going To Be A Cold Winter” is Blossoms’ discography in microcosm: superficially charming enough to distract from the fact that it’s pretty generic in substance. Even the “jokes” are only half-funny, in a forced, James Corden sort of way. Example: “Maybe I’ve no business here / I’m sick of sweaters every year! / Hide beneath the snow / ‘Tis the season,’ I shall moan…” Boom! Now do one about fruit cake and how bad it is! Still, the clashing bells and the accompaniment of the Stockport Junior Voices Choir work well together, and Blossoms’ signature sound is perfect for a Christmas tune. The song itself is derivative and not terribly memorable (aside from the insinuation that the narrator is planning to abscond with the listener’s sister?). But it’s not like Blossoms is asking you to add Cold Winter to your heavy rotation playlist. It’s a song to be played between Black Friday and whenever Christmas is, officially, over with.
CHEER FACTOR: 6/10. “It’s Going to Be a Cold Winter” deserves a spot on your holiday playlist if for no other reason than that it’s a change of pace. How many more seasons can we spend listening to covers of “Last Christmas” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside?” And give Blossoms’ back catalog a shot. Singer Tom Ogden once compared the band’s cringe-to-delight ratio to that of ABBA.