Posted on: December 15, 2023 Posted by: Kim Muncie Comments: 0

“Alone on Christmas Day” is the new single from New York City’s The High Plains Drifters and it’s a winner. This charming, unassuming tune brims with compelling melodic strengths and a sleek arrangement that never bites off more than it can chew. It comes across as the result of a band who began recording the song knowing exactly what aims they looked to achieve and sounds like they tossed off the recording with near effortless elan. It’s the latest low-key triumph from a band that has a slender discography behind them, but this is ultimately the sort of material that any band would be pleased to have among their calling cards.

It likewise continues the successful run that began with the band’s debut followed by their second release, an EP entitled Songs of Love and Loss. They continue exploring songs of love and loss with “Alone on Christmas Day” as lyricist and lead singer Larry Studnicky serves up one of his best compositions yet. Writing about such time-honored fare like the woman you want but can’t have, for one reason or another, and giving it a new spin should garner these guys some sort of award. Our attention and a little cash, however, will undoubtedly suffice for them.

The song earns both. It moves at a crisp pace, never rushed, and drummer/percussionist Kyle Cassel.shoulders a lot of the responsibility for its power. Pairing him with the electric guitar attack gives this tune a surprising amount of bite, but it never intends on drawing blood but holding your ear close instead. The chorus is where it all comes together and reaches new heights. Larry Studnicky’s melodic skills take flight here and the accompanying backing vocals help reinforce its upward trajectory.

Studnicky’s lyrics are simple, intelligent, and cut to the chase. The punchy rhymes he chooses bring added percussive value to the arrangement without ever calling too much attention to themselves and his canny performance elevates them a few added notches. They work especially well in the context of the song’s video, a jump cut cavalcade of shots focused on an extraordinarily beautiful woman, a stand-in for the song’s subject, along with an assortment of spoof news clips and comedic depictions of Studnicky’s possible competitors for her affection. Even Santa himself makes the list.

This single should make your list as one of 2023’s most likable tunes. The sparkling polish that they put on for listeners is a big reason why, but it’s the relatability of the cut that wins the day more than anything else. The High Plains Drifters are getting better and better with each new release and “Alone on Christmas Day” cuts through the holiday season’s typical drivel to provide us with an unique and musically rewarding outing that you will not soon forget. It doesn’t merit being played just during the Christmas season either – the single is a true evergreen certain to entertain no matter what the calendar says. Don’t miss out on this brilliant little gem.

Kim Muncie

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