The biggest musical surprise of this Christmas is not the back-to-back Christmas Number Ones for songs about sausage rolls but a monster jam coming in hot from Hypnospace Outlaw. The Chowder Man, a faded rockstar you might have encountered when surfing the information sleeperhighway, released a Christmas song over the weekend. It’s named Christmas Pain In Christmas Town and here’s the thing: it’s an absolute banger. A proper great Christmas song. A friend who doesn’t know Hynospace likened it to a Carly Rae Jepsen song, which is one of pop’s highest compliments. And the Hynospace-y music video, oh my!
Genuinely a fantastic Christmas song. I adore the maximalist chorus, coming back round and round. I adore how it balances the pathetic and clumsy against heartfelt tragedy. The Chowder Man knows he fucked it, he’s cold and afraid, he’s ruined the dream he had for Christmas and their life together, and just wishes he could slide down his baby’s chimney tonight. There is no time of the year better for grand emotional gestures. Fantastic stuff. And that video by Hynospace creator Jay Tholen, damn.
Like The Chowder Man’s songs in Hypnospace, this is the work of usually-one-man band Hot Dad, who’s joined here by Dave Pino and his hot shredding. You can listen Christmas Pain to on Bandcamp and Spotify too, where you’ll find more of Hot Dad’s music. I’m particularly fond of Are You Afraid Of The Dark? from his album of TV theme tunes, which is a real strong mood for a song inspired by Canadian kids TV.
Hypnospace Outlaw currently has a 25% discount in the Christmas sales, by the way, bringing it down to £11.61/€12.59/$14.99 on Steam and Itch.io. Do read our Hypnospace Outlaw review, which declared it “completely splendid.” If you’ve already jacked in, hey, you might like The Mechanic looking at how its mock-1990s Internet was made.
I think my heart would burst if Carly Rae covered Christmas Pain In Christmas Town.