Saintseneca releases "Mallwalker" Christmas EP
On Friday, Columbus folk-pop act Saintseneca dropped a surprise holiday gift in the form of a five-song EP titled The Mallwalker. While it's not the cheeriest set of holiday songs ("You know it's Christmas in Columbus / Won't be the same without ya though," Zac Little sings on "Plastic Baby Jesus"), it's a welcome reprieve from the overplayed Christmas standards you hear this time of year while ... mall-walking. While the EP's apocalyptic title track has been around for a few years, the rest are new to my ears, and new Saintseneca music is always good news.
"I'm a sucker for a good sad Christmas song. When Christmas draws near in its yearly orbit, you hear the soundtrack first, trumpeting its arrival far off in the distance. The tunes are often tacky, but there are some real jams tucked away in there. They pull along all the old memories tangled up with them. I kinda like the nostalgia - the melancholy, and joy.
Holidays are punctuation points, like etching your height on the wall so you can track your growth, or maybe lack thereof. We reconcile the old marks with the new. Thus I've felt inspired to offer up a few discoveries to the holiday song book: One song a year, five years going now, and here they are bundled together with a bow on top.
This year's installment, "All the Best," emerged after making a necklace. A parent requested a necklace be created for their son, who was serving in the military. While deployed, his girlfriend passed away, and he was not permitted to return home for her funeral. The necklace was a small container, inscribed with her initials, intended to hold her photo.
I was troubled and touched by the story. It followed me around. I imagined this kid coming home and getting this little trinket - one I certainly didn't feel qualified to make. How strange and surreal all of it is, the raw ore forming eons ago, being mined somewhere, melted down and somehow that particular little bit of matter passing through my hands for a moment, before moving on. All the while this sad story unfolding for the family, somewhere the lines in the web overlap at a tiny point before continuing along their way."