Girl Ray’s ‘90s twee nostalgia put their debut 12-track spoonerism, Earl Grey, up for Album Of The Week and made the trio one of our best new bands of the year. At the year’s end, Girl Ray takes the best from their first impression (clever meter changes, subtle, warm harmonies, and a lead vocal that — if we’re being honest here — gives Enya a run for her money in terms of which voices can actually lower my blood pressure) and adds a dash of sleigh bells for their holiday single, “(I Wish I Were Giving You A Gift) This Christmas.”
As with most of Girl Ray’s repertoire, the sweetness is offset by a tinge of melancholy. “It was ice cold when you left,” Poppy Hankin opens, later asking, “open your heart/ tell me I’m yours.” But it’s all balanced between saxophone and jaunty piano breaks that will make you smile. Leave it to Girl Ray to feature a children’s chorus that won’t send me running for the snowy hills. Take my word for it and listen below.
The 7″ single version of “(I Wish I Were Giving You A Gift) This Christmas” is out 12/8 on Moshi Moshi.