As we stumble to the end of this misbegotten year, it’s only right and proper that our holidays tunes are tinged with melancholy. In the opening lyrics of “Happy Holiday,” the new track from Diet Cig, Alex Luciano sweetly intones, “Things are gonna feel/ Different this year” before bounding through a song that pines for little things that feel so immense that they’re practically impossible (“I wanna go to the dollar store/ On Christmas Eve/ Collect all the stocking candy/ That we can eat”). It’s all accompanied by a gleaming musical undercurrent that takes the band’s signature bubblegum-punk aesthetic and dials it to King-era Belly. That’s what joy bestowed upon the world sounds like to me.
“Happy Holidays” appears on Simply Having a Wonderful Compilation, a release from Father/Daughter and Wax Nine that is partially a fundraiser for Feeding America, an organization facing an especially daunting test this holiday season.