"Winter Days (Christmas Song)" by CroissantReview
So here it is: our first seasonal/festive release review of the year (and I'm glad it's coming at a sensible & tasteful date), namely "Winter Days" by Croissant (Ethan Heaselden) which comes out on 2nd December 2022.
Following his equally seasonal "Next October" which we reviewed last month, this one, though nominally subtitled "Christmas Song" is more of another exquisite evocation of living through the season & whatever challenges it throws in our path than a festive knees-up. Which, I hasten to add is fine by me as the latter is such an over-worked seam that as far as I'm concerned would be best left alone for the foreseeable future. I do tend to wince at gratuitous mentions of (and playing of) sleigh bells given the total lack of our experience of hearing them or their being any part of our true experiences. Thankfully "Winter Days" is sleigh bells free, with a sparse and suitably sombre accompaniment led principally by a piano with light dustings of strings & percussion to add icy textures
The strength of the song lies in the lyrics & atmosphere built up by their interplay with the music. The song, like its predecessor, is one based on perceptions of the effects of experiencing the passage of time: plenty of looking backwards but also looking forwards in hope with a central message that winter days offer opportunism to reflect upon both & should be valued for this.
It's pretty wistful, but not entirely devoid of any sense of celebration (Christmas does get a mention). It concerns the pleasures of small as well as big things and acts as a counter balance to the materialism of Christmas by offering the chance to enjoy the season as a whole for what it brings. Cold can be enjoyed as can the warming to remedy it and observing the weather from a haven reminds us of our good fortune."It's worth it for those winter days I long for with my heart" he suggests to us.
Ethan is emerging as a musician of thought & subtlety in both music & lyrics and as such offers the Coventry & Warwickshire music scene yet another skilled & original voice. It's hard to disentangle the beauty of the tune from the poetics of the words and that is a mark of good writer: as a reviewer I am to some extent expected to pick things apart, but doing so sometimes is not the best way to genuinely enjoy a song. "Hold on" he keeps telling us through the song & this reflects that he is in for the long term in life & art: I look forwards to many more releases of this quality to come.