Los Angeles Police Department, “Oh Lonely Night”

Geoff Nelson

Ryan Pollie’s Los Angeles Police Department takes a blinking, morose victory lap on Christmas-inspired, “Oh Lonely Night”, his contribution to the Chill Mega Chill Records compilation mix, Tape Deck The Halls. Pollie birthed himself as something of a bedroom Jesus on his debut self-titled in 2014, and “Oh Lonely Night”, wrapped in its sleigh bell swaddling clothes, sounds more conspicuously produced and clean than anything appearing on Los Angeles Police Department.

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Pollie’s gift for melody emerges in even sharper relief, even when borrowing a portion of hook from “Oh Holy Night”. The homage is light and passing. “Oh Lonely Night” offers none of the mid-tempo triumphalism of the song to which its title refers. Instead, other than the treble of the keyboard progression, “Oh Lonely Night” remains lugubrious, a secular hymn about being alone at the holidays. The ubiquity of the Christmas Industrial Complex can’t represent inspiration for artists unless the song both attacks and sustains the season. The oppressive sanctimony of the Christmas season is ripe for a line like, “Tis’ the season to be sad”, a lyric Pollie sounds like he sings with a straight face and wry smile. It’s a celebration for one, a celebration by one—our last chance to fete the guy who made decking the halls alone in his bedroom sound so damn good this year.

Purchase Tape Deck The Halls at the Chill Mega Chill Bandcamp and get in the seasonal spirit with the ugly festive Christmas sweater.


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