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Track review: Faithful Johannes – It’s OK to Be Alone (This Christmas) [feat. Benjamin Amos]

Everybody knows there are only three ways to make a Christmas song:

  • A: Play it dead straight, somehow navigating the cliché and schmaltz-ridden wasteland on your way to creating something as timeless as It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
  • B: Have shitloads of fun, not take anything too seriously, and somehow end up with something sentimental and weirdly life-affirming.
  • C: Phone in any old shite, throw some jingle bells in there and call it a day.

You can apply the Rule of Three (as it is commonly known) to any Christmas song ever made. See for yourself: just wait a few minutes for the test results and away you go. In the case of Durham City’s Faithful Johannes, we’re looking at a classic case B. All day long. Basically it’s everything you want it to be during what’s sure to be the shittiest festive season almost every one of us will ever have had: it’s uplifting, catchy, funny, a little rough around the edges, and very reassuring. It’s saying don’t worry pal, everybody’s having a crap time. Let’s whack on Zoom and make the best of it and, frankly, who doesn’t want/need to hear that right now.

I wasn’t aware of Faithful Johannes’ particular blend of rap, spoken word, and alternative pop before I heard this, but lines like “there’s nothing wrong with a nut roast for one” and “Google your own favourite cracker jokes” – as well as the sheer fact that he’s vowed to make a Christmas song every year until death – are going some way to making me want to check out his back catalogue.

In all seriousness though; I do genuinely love a Christmas song done right, and I think it takes quite a lot to make something that has staying power. I also personally appreciate when an artist doesn’t just take the easy route, throw any old shit together, and put on a Christmas jumper. Above all else, if you’re going to do it then you need to write a good song, and that’s exactly what this is.

You can find Faithful Johannes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, as it’s Bandcamp Friday, you can check out his stuff here.

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