Dusting it Off is a blog series where Flagpole‘s music writers unearth local albums from days gone by.
The Dream Scene, the arguably brilliant, retro-futurist pop project helmed by local musician Javier Morales (Grass Giraffes, Quiet Hooves), has had a typically busy 2013, recording tons of material and putting it out it in bits and pieces—on Soundcloud, on cassette—but Morales’ most indelible release came in 2009, when he collected four years of holiday-themed recordings onto one stellar LP.
The Dream Scene Christmas is full of quasi-faithful renditions of Xmas classics—”Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” “O Come Emmanuel“—done up (or down) in true Dream Scene style. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is transformed into a sultry lo-fi-lounge ditty. “Silver Bells” swells with acid-drenched atonality. “Little Drummer Boy” is given a future-funk makeover.
But, most importantly, Morales’ reverence for the source material shines through; these songs feel explored, transformed—not poked fun at. Whether he is revealing the latent seasonal affective disorder that underlies “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” or emphasizing the zany, psychotic wonderment of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” Morales treats the songs like the cultural cornerstones they are.
You can stream or download the whole thing via Party Party Partners. Below, watch the excellent stop-motion video for “Sleigh Ride.”
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