Though I deeply value the religious rituals and recognitions of the Christmas season, one of my favorite Christmas songs is totally secular. “It’s Different Now” by Ice Choir is all Hallmark, unoffensive generic “toys and candy canes” sentiment. The song is guaranteed to warm even the hearts of the newest of new atheists. It’s almost as if Clark Griswold’s speech — on the meaning of an agnostic Christmas — at the end of the Vacation movie set during the holiday season was made into a song. Still, I love it. “It’s Different Now” reminds me of a holiday coming home scene in a John Hughes movie. All the feels.
It doesn’t hurt that Kurt Feldman, the mastermind behind the Ice Choir, can do almost no musical wrong in my book. His smooth eighties synth sound recalls the sophistipop that stands out as uniquely of that decade. It’s completely inorganic with the most delightfully plastic packaging.