In a year where society argued about pretty much everything, something kinda wild began taking shape shortly after Halloween: A free pass was given to those who went and put up Christmas decorations early. Taking part in revelry usually reserved for after Thanksgiving, the burden of life in 2020 has rested so heavily upon our collective shoulders, not only did we seek a little bit of that holiday cheer a bit early this year — but those who indulged were actually spared the usual ire and scrutiny from calendar watchers who determine when and how we’re supposed to celebrate the oncoming year-end holiday.
And so “Christmas Lights on the Lawn”, the delectable new alt-pop holiday tune from Brooklyn’s Illicit Ghost, was born — inspired by those who hung up their lights early to feel a little bit of hope and normalcy during this never-ending pandemic. In a year that’s been many shades of dark, November suddenly had a brighter glow to it.
“On my journeys home from NYC for the holidays, I see the decorated houses on each side of the expressway and I’m reminded that sometimes we just need a little light to find our way,” says Illicit Ghost, who has spent 2020 releasing new music and confronting mental health issues through her “Anti-Anxiety Hour” series on Instagram. “I wrote the song to comfort those experiencing grief, especially during this tragic time. All of 2020’s loss amplified the importance of loved ones. I want this song to remind us to celebrate those who have passed, and be grateful for the friends and family who bring joy and hope for the future.”
And much like those who never thought they’d ever string up some blinking lights or an inflatable Santa well before carving up the turkey, the producer, violinist, and singer-songwriter never thought she’d ever pen a holiday song, even after covering “Silent Night” last year. But 2020 has had a strange effect on people, and a common journey has been a feeling first of being overwhelmed before discovering deep down a drive and desire to overcome.
“This year was so chaotic and I didn’t know how to put all of the emotions I was feeling into a song,” Illicit Ghost adds. “One day I was sitting at the piano trying to write, and suddenly the words and chords came to me on a whim. I was feeling so sad about this whole year and the horrible things that occurred. I wanted to bring people some relief.”
Listen to “Christmas Lights on the Lawn,” co-produced by Illicit Ghost and Elliot Jacobson (Vérité, Ingrid Michaelson), below. And next year, if things fail to get better on a national level, let’s put up the decorations in October, right next to the spooky skeletons and friendly ghosts.