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COVID-19: Five Canadian musicians take on the task of writing a pandemic holiday hit | Vancouver Sun
In a year when everything seems topsy-turvy, musicians are in the mood for seasonal songs.
The World Needs Christmas is the title of a new single just released by Marianas Trench bassist Mike Ayley and his wife, Emily.
No matter how you might celebrate the holiday season, the song expresses a sentiment circulating throughout society this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has put seasonal preparations into overdrive. Trees are decorated, displays are turned on and it’s barely December.
This buzz has artists across Canada coming up with new seasonal music like never before. But what lies behind the rush to write a holiday hit?
The Ayleys certainly don’t waste any time getting to the point in The World Needs Christmas. The song opens with the line: “It’s been a long and trying year/Full of anxiety and fear.”
“I find myself quoting the song in my head all the time when I’m watching the news,” said Emily Ayley. “This year has been unlike any other one, and not being able to travel to see my family this year and do all the things we usually do is what inspired it. I’m from New Jersey and that means it’s not happening.”
Up to this point, every member of Marianas Trench has contributed a seasonal song to the annual 604 Records holiday release. This year it fell to Mike Ayley. The timing was, unfortunately, perfect.
“It came about around July when we had cancelled yet another trip to try and go see Emily’s family, and I reached out to label head Jonathan Simkin with the idea for the song and he was, ‘Let’s do it.’ ” said Mike Ayley. “We recorded it in September and made the video that was recently released. Emily had come up with the line that the world needs Christmas this year more than ever before and we ran with that.”
The tune is a classic old-style rock ‘n’ roll waltz with pointed lyrics that the couple admits were a deliberate choice. They wanted a song that eclipsed trendiness and had a timeless vibe. The thumbs-up that followed the tune’s debut performance on a Zoom session with Emily’s family meant it was ready to release.
“We decided months ago that Marianas Trench would do a campaign in support of the Make-A-Wish foundation from the song,” he said. “The idea being that it’s good to help people that are less-fortunate at a tough time.”