“Christmas in L.A.” – The Killers feat. Dawes
As if Christmas weren’t depressing enough, with its unrelenting pressure to find only the perfect gifts for everyone and its tendency to make you look back at the year that was and your life in general, here’s The Killers’ holiday single for you!
Every year, The Killers release a charity Christmas single in aid of Product Red. “Christmas in L.A.” is their 2013 single, and is a collaboration with Dawes. On the surface, the song is about an aspiring actor who’s questioning his dreams of stardom. It’s also about the life choices we make, loss of innocence, and the disillusionment that comes when dreams don’t come true. It’s not really the most joyful holiday song out there, and with Dawes in the mix, you can’t really expect anything different. They love to write songs about Los Angeles, but they only seem to write about the sadder, seedier, less glamorous parts of it. Taylor Goldsmith’s vocals remind me of Eeyore, but it provides a nice contrast to Brandon Flowers’ more worldly tone.
There’s also a snippet of “White Christmas” somewhere in there, and it made me appreciate my one and only art class in college. I learned about musical themes there, so hearing the reworked version of Irving Berlin’s music sparked a sense of recognition. Hey, I got that!
The song is accompanied by a video starring Owen Wilson. The video is pretty much a literal interpretation of the lyrics, but with Wilson’s documented problems with depression in the past, his inclusion in the video adds another level of pathos.
All this is to say that the song is depressing as hell, but that’s exactly what makes it so beautiful. We all love to wallow every now and then, especially at Christmas, and this is just perfect. The video is great too. Bring out the tissues and hot cocoa, please!