When is it too early to start getting into the holiday spirit? November too early? Should it just be reserved for December? Japan starts selling red and green decorations as soon as possible; some places bust out wreaths in August. August! But now feels like the moment all the merry feelings escalate. Fittingly, ballad-centric band back number shared a new song apt for the season. Watch the clip for “Mabataki” below:
Now, it isn’t a Christmas song per se. The lyrics don’t fixate on the holiday, while the video lacks any seasonally fitting imagery (like, say, a dancing Santa Claus). The clip - the short version of it anyway - features the trio playing their instruments in what appears to be a garage. A woman also stares off into the distance at one point. Yuletide greetings, not so much.
Yet the sound of the song, coupled with a release date of December 20, drives home that “Mabataki” is definitely a festive song, or at least a tune that would sound apt playing on Christmas. The big obvious part is back number’s use of bells at the chorus, which offer an extra shine to the song and sound pretty close to the sort of chiming you’d expect around the holidays. The general build of the song, and the overly dramatic nature of the song, which lends itself to those feeling lonely on Christmas, also fits. Perhaps it’s all a big coincidence, but I find that hard to believe one of the biggest bands in Japan don’t know what they are doing. They made something for Christmas, without being too obvious about its nature (but still being pretty clear).
As mentioned, the song drops about a week before December 25, supplemented by two other new songs.
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