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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 187 - 12/10/11

Synger julen inn
Crispin Glover Records/

What we all need for Christmas is a true Christmas record, or a Christmas single. Øyvind Ryan did it. Wrote a classic song for the season. No, in fact two songs. Side A, side B. Or a double A. And this limited edition single comes in a fabulous Christmas wrapping as well, just check this out: 205 numbered copies comes with music sheet cover, with a red ribbon and a golden sticker. Golden vinyl in a see-through sleeve with silk printed snow crystals. Along with the first 100 copies there is also Cielo chocolate included! Another 165 copies comes without the music sheet cover and chocolate, but is 'still rather sexy' (to quote Ryan), with the see-through, silk printed golden snow crystal cover. Neat. Quite a treat. And, Christmas came early this year, as the single was launched on Record Store Day, on November 25th.

So, what about the musical content then, Mr Ryan. Øyvind Ryan is Santa Rock 2011, and Santa's little helpers are Bent Sæther (of Motorpsycho) on drums, percussion, bass, organ, glockenspiel and harmony vocals and Øyvind Holm (Dipsomaniacs, Deleted Waveform Gathering) on piano and acoustic 12-string guitar. Ryan himself did lead and harmony vocals, guitars, percussion and glockenspiel. In addition Oskar Yazan Mellemsether added his accordion skills to the single. "Det jeg ønsker meg til jul" (What I want for Christmas) is the main song, being almost cheesy with all its clichés, and sounding like a boogie-meets-dænsbænd. Tongue-in-cheek, of course, and indeed charmingly done, with sweet harmonies. Lyrics are trademark Ryan, with little cunning details. "Juggel" (Tinsel) on the flipside is a waltzy piece. Cool enough, like the A side, but I get the feeling this project was much more fun in the studio than for us listeners. Nevertheless, unique Christmas singles are fun, though, and the cover art is - as mentioned - excellent.

Sæther and Holm are part of Ryanbanden's regular line-up, along with drummer Even Granås and guitarist (slide etc) Alexander Pettersen. Next year will finally see the release of Ryanbanden's long-awaited double (?) album. Judging from the rough mix sketches I heard at Øyvind's place in May it will really be something to look forward to.

Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Ryanbanden articles/reviews: Dobbel bunn, Ryanbanden.

© 2011 Luna Kafé