The biggest problem during the holiday season is that a great many of the Christmas-themed songs that are played are those sample old tracks that listeners have been hearing their entire life. The United Kingdom’s Mountain Rio (the nom de plume of Frank Robinson) looks to establish a new seasonal tradition with the release of two new tracks, She’s In Love With Santa and Let The Lights Shine. She’s In Love With Santa (featuring The Snowman) is a traditional rock-styled track that takes up hints of Elvis Costello and The Smiths. There is an upbeat sound to this track that is opposed by the much more depressed / sorrowful lyrical content. The dichotomy between the crisp and cold winter months and the hints of a tropical paradise that can be heard at the periphery of the instrumentation showcases the overall complexity of the composition. The final twist of the track is heart-warming, but one does need to listen for themselves.
Let The Lights Shine is a skillful mélange of eighties and early nineties country music, with a simply stellar set of vocals shining brightly above the instrumentation. The backing beat – bells, drums, bass, and guitar – provides considerable variation to the track and further boosts the overall momentum enjoyed by the composition. The interplay between the strings and Michael Lusk’s vocals elicits a call and response style that ties the track to a much earlier musical tradition. The cherry on the track has to be the precise guitar that is laid down in the middle; from this point, Mountain Rio is able to rocket to the finish line. This is another solid hit for holiday stations but it has the chops to stand on its own for rock or country radio rotation.
Visit Robinson’s SoundCloud for samples of his holiday music; check back regularly for subsequent singles and other updates from this talented performer.