Credit: Julia Terbrock

HO HO WHO: The Marías, a bilingual Los Angeles-based band whose sultry music blends the best of psychedelia, bossa nova, French yé-yé, and ’90s pop. After solidifying their spot in the indie scene with two EPs, The Marías have spent 2020 leisurely releasing singles. “We’re The Lucky Ones” is the group’s fifth original song of the year, and their first Christmas song.

DAMN, WE REALLY ARE THE LUCKY ONES: Writing an original Christmas song is gutsy, but if any year calls for it, it’s 2020. With COVID-19 infections rising across the country and everyone (hopefully) canceling their usual gatherings in favor of staying home and protecting their community, this holiday season is shaping up to be grimmer than most. Taking note, The Marías swapped out their usual synths and drums for a gentler arrangement of keyboard, guitar, and strings on “We’re the Lucky Ones.” Over it, in a voice made of velvet and air, frontwoman María Zardoya croons lyrics true to the moment: “I can’t wait till Christmas. We’ll laugh, and we’ll dance, and we’ll cry.” The tears are probably because her “mama’s arms, they feel so far.” Still, the song’s thesis is a bittersweet reminder to appreciate what we have: “We’ve come this far, with beating hearts. We’re the lucky ones.” And with all the lives that have been cut short this year, we really are.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MORE MARÍAS COVERS: “We’re The Lucky Ones” is a gorgeous, poignant song, but it wouldn’t hurt to balance it out with something that maybe, uh, doesn’t make me want to sob into my pillow. The Marías have tucked a number of cheeky covers into their repertoire, including covers of The Ink Spots’ “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time,” and my personal favorite, Bad Bunny’s “DÁKITI.” No matter the genre, every song The Marías touch becomes unmistakable theirs, and I’d love to see them update a cheerier Christmas classic. “Santa Baby,” anyone? 

CHEER FACTOR: 2/10. “Yeah, but at least our hearts are still beating” is a pretty low bar for happiness. Although it may be true, I’d recommend chasing this with something that has a few more bells.