Very early in the year, the El Paso post-rock outfit Dayluta Means Kindness set my world on fire for a few weeks with the track “Young Savagery and General Debauchery,” from their debut LP When You’re Young You’re Invincible. In fact, I excitedly featured that track here, so this is actually the band’s second “Listen” piece of 2017. Circumstances are somewhat different this time, as they are releasing a Christmas single, their interpretation of the classic “Oh Holy Night.” This is actually one of my favorite seasonal songs of all time, particularly for its slightly melancholic shift in tone (which first takes place in Dayluta’s version at the 2:49 mark). So I was certainly excited about their choice and for the opportunity to check it out.
The band does not disappoint, delivering a rendition that honors the original version while staying true to Dayluta’s basic sonic mission statement. The iconic melodies are all there, making this a song you can legitimately put on a playlist while you’re sitting around the tree on Christmas Eve with family. The amazing part, to me, is that this is also a song that would work in June – it’s a legitimately well-wrought post-rock track. The inherent flaw of Christmas carols, in terms of their potential for year-long perpetuity, is that they are so intrinsically tied to a single three week period that listening to them at any other point during the year seems weird. Dayluta has truly made “Oh Holy Night” their own, without sacrificing any of what makes it special for the holiday season. That’s an impressive feat. On top of everything else, they actually manage to work sleigh bells into the arrangement without sounding corny. Kudos to them on that. So join us around our virtual hearth to celebrate the holidays, post-rock style.