Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fiction Family - Holiday (EP Review)

For Fiction Family fans (say that three times fast!), Christmas is coming before Thanksgiving this year! The eclectic collaborative brainchild of Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) released their fantastic debut album back in 2009 and now they’re back for another round of folksy, melodic, acoustic-driven tunes with their brand new Holiday EP. Featuring sneak peek tracks from next year’s Fiction Family Reunion album (January 29, Rock Ridge Music), some tasty unreleased B-sides and a festive new Christmas song, Holiday is a super special treat for long-time listeners and soon-to-be fans alike. 

Holiday kicks off with the bouncy “I Don’t Need No Santa Clause,” a track that will quickly find its way onto holiday playlists everywhere this season. Landing somewhere between a jaunty bluegrass number and a nostalgic classic Christmas song of the 40s and 50s, “I Don’t Need No Santa Clause” is fun, romantic, catchy, and sentimental all at once. Even the lyrics are jam-packed with holiday references of mistletoe, jingle bells, sugar plums, off-key carolers, Rudolph, Ebenezer, Bing Crosby and Elvis. It couldn’t have been more Christmas-y unless they’d have had Santa sing it himself.  

Holiday also features a couple new tracks from their upcoming sophomore release, Fiction Family Reunion. “Up Against The Wall” and “Damaged” were written and recorded with the two newest members of the band, Aaron Redfield and Tyler Chester. These songs were birthed out of the friendships and musical chemistry that were formed between the 4 musicians while they were out on the road supporting their self-titled debut. The new tracks continue to showcase Fiction Family’s uber-talented, lyric-rich, multi-instrumental approach to collaborative songwriting that inhabits the same space as Music from Big Pink-era The Band and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-era Wilco. 

Rounding out the EP is a live version of Fiction Family’s “We Ride” and two previously unreleased tracks, “Don’t Say You Love Me” and “My Forgetful Baby.” Even after just a few spins, it’s safe to say that if songs this good didn’t make the new album, I can’t wait to hear what the guys have in store for us in January. Fiction Family Reunion will be released January 29 on Rock Ridge Music. 

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