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Merry Christmas – no really, Merry Christmas from Japan

Merry Christmas, fuzzy avant-garde folk infused strangeness from Japan are this week’s focus and bring us delight in bucket loads. Merry Christmas bring a much needed antidote to the norm with their fun and enthusiastic songbook. Eschewing the music industry norms, their innocent but ultimately thought provoking music is a welcome break from tradition. Their debut LP The Night The Night Fell opens with glockenspiel and signature ballistic rhythm bursts before opening up to wonderfully simple melody. It’s a sound both bold and gently simple and gives way to arresting synth bursts that will wake up the most disinterested of ears.

…an incredible album that stands out against all others, with its unique sounds and captivating storyline.


The loose concept album follows a journey quite like no other. Despite the at times gawkish tunes Merry Christmas are not without music sentimentality. The tender First Lull offers a glimpse into the more introspective side of the band. With its vocal harmonies mirroring each other perfectly and playing out of the acoustic guitar and ever present glockenspiel, this track feels like a bridge in the album. It gives way to the more upbeat Magnets before the madness of Meredith Bites The Earth unfolds and arrests listeners.

Merry Christmas offer a rare look at what is possible with a little vision and a desire to escape the all too constrictive bonds of chasing popularity and the comfort of conformity. This confident album is a treat despite its lo-fi credentials and should be in every audiophile’s collection. Here at Record Box HQ we will certainly be watching the band’s evolution with much interest.

This week’s playlist

  1. Darkness Will Find Us All Merry Christmas
  2. Sun When You Come B.J. Smith & Huw Costin
  3. Light Of The Moon Carolina Story
  4. A Letter To My Lawyers Lisa Li-Lund
  5. Bloodline The Slow Show
  6. Action CHAI
  7. Amateur Current Joys
  8. Meredith Bites The Earth Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, their debut LP

The Night The Night Fell, the much anticipated debut album by the UK/Japan quintet Merry Christmas, was released on Aug 1st, 2020. From the discordant chants of the twisting opener Superghost to the fuzz-folk redemption inspiring closer Tivoli, the album draws the listener into the unconscious journey of a girl who has tragically fallen into a coma. The lyrical and sonic atmosphere progresses throughout the 42-minute adventure over 12 tracks – from absolute despair to defiant celebration as her story, realizations and dreams unfold.

Merry Christmas The Night The Night Fell

More about the band

Merry Christmas are a ten-legged festive wonder tank from Tokyo, Japan. They blend elements of fuzz folk, math rock and pop into melodic hooks. These hooks are contagiously catchy but impossible to assign to a single existing genre. Ben George (fmr: Cats and Cats and Cats, Glastonbury 2006), Matthew Thoren (fmr: Placebo Sound, “Three Lights” Soundtrack, Berlin Film Festival 2017) and Joe-Joe Moran-Douglas (fmr: At Risk) were brought together in 2012 through a mutual love of Neutral Milk Hotel. Later recruiting Yuki Nishimura and Yurie “Barihi” Yamaguchi (fmr. Lazs) the band quickly developed an underground following in Tokyo. Their first EP, The Flying Trombone Sisters (2014), solidified their fuzz-folk sound and strengthened their fanbase. The following releases Rattattattattat (2016) and Dark Forest Be Gone (2018) saw Merry Christmas expanding into new territory and playing Japan’s renowned RingoFes (2018) alongside Of Montreal and Taiwan’s Elephant Gym.

Quirky, upbeat, twinkling campfire songs … instantaneously charming … xylophone-bright melodies … a sugarrush of childlike glee.

Echoes and dust

Hook up with Merry Christmas

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