ONEMAC and James O’Connor today announced the release of their new single, ‘Memories of Christmas Day’, a duet that bears all the hallmarks of a Christmas Classic, featuring O’Connor and soulful Los Angeles singer Kim Diaz-Smith. After recovering from Covid-19, ONEMAC worked remotely with James O’Connor during the second lockdown to write, produce and release a feelgood song, not to make a social comment but to bring a smile to the face.
Music is an expressive repository for our emotions and has a way of reaching inside, reviving memories we thought were lost forever. The ephemeral joys of childhood leave lingering flashbacks that stay with us for the rest of our lives, and none more so that our childhood memories of Christmas. Most will view 2020 as a year to forget but as it draws to a close, songwriters ONEMAC, real name Michael MacMahon, and James O’Connor combined their talents to write and record what might become a future Christmas classic. Los Angeles artist Kim Diaz-Smith once again adds her silky soulful voice in this latest collaboration.
What is it about the great Christmas songs that see them topping our annual yuletide playlists year after year to the exclusion of more modern seasonal ditties? Just what makes a Christmas classic, and why does “Memories Of Christmas Day” seem to push all the right buttons? There are several elements common to many seasonal classics including snow, nostalgia, tradition, family, friends, romance. Christmas means different things to different people. “I can’t relive people’s memories,” said MacMahon, “so when writing, I try to leave it open for listeners to find their moments within the song. Once James developed the chords, the lyrics seemed to flow.”
O’Connor is an accomplished singer-songwriter with two highly acclaimed solo albums to his name, and he has tasted top 10 chart success in Ireland. Commenting he said, “I always wanted to write a Christmas song so when the opportunity presented, I jumped at it.” He continued, “The lyrics express a sense of giving and love, an important part of the festive season, particularly after the year we’ve all endured.”
Kim Diaz-Smith added, “I loved the concept and the clever twist as the song starts with him remembering crawling down the stairs as a child on Christmas morning and goes full-circle to him listening to his children repeating his actions all these years later.”
It’s so easy to become clichéd, and predictable when writing a song whose subject is steeped in nostalgia, and tradition but somehow MacMahon & O’Connor pull it off with an intelligent, well-structured song evoking times past with a touch of romance combined with humor, and a nod to the Pogues classic ‘Fairytale Of New York’, while the importance of family reference extends a nod to Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home for Christmas’.
But none of that matters if it’s not a memorable tune and ‘Memories Of Christmas Day’ is a catchy, happy, sing-along song with a great chorus, that you just want to keep playing. A cute introduction by 3-year-old Saoirse precedes a slow set-up that builds into an infectious feel-good melody that paints pictures while evoking memories of times past. It has been compared in style to The Beautiful South, and as one music insider commented: “Oh yes, this deserves some serious attention. It’s catchy and it sticks.”
This is a feel-good song that should bring a smile to your face, and will most likely stick around for many years to come.
‘Memories Of Christmas Day’ is available to download or stream on all platforms now.