Ferocious Designs, the music project of central New Jersey-based songwriter Brian Kelley, today announced the release of Naughty and Nice: The Holiday Singles, a collection of two original Christmas songs. Naughty and Nice is available now to stream or download at FerociousDesigns.com.
“I wrote both of these holiday songs years ago, but the versions on this release are more in line with what I am currently doing as Ferocious Designs,” said Kelley. “One song is a satirical look at the ‘war on Christmas’ narrative pushed by some, especially a certain cable network mislabeled as a news channel; the other is a more straightforward, sentimental Christmas song.
“Hence, Naughty and Nice,” added Kelley.
The Naughty track, “Merry War on Christmas,” was originally written as a pop piano piece in response to the “great Starbucks holiday cup non-scandal of 2015.” Most of the song was written while stuck in a hour-long backup getting out of a parking deck at a train station.
“I was basically trapped in my car in this garage and heard a story on the radio about the faux outrage over that year’s Starbucks holiday cup not being Christmas-y enough,” said Kelley. “I started singing music ideas and lyrics into the voice memo app on my phone and I pretty much had the song done by the time I reached the exit gate.”
Naughty and Nice includes a new version of “Merry War on Christmas,” as well as the original 2015 demo.
The Nice track is “It’s Christmas Time Again,” a more sincere holiday song.
“It was December 2011, my wife and I were about to move into our current home and we were expecting our first child so I think I wanted to write something to express that joy,” said Kelley. “So I took musical inspiration from some of my favorite Christmas songs and started pulling all the best clichés from them—falling snow, carolers, world peace, etc.
“That’s when I realized Christmas songs really ask for way too much so I threw in that meta lyric, ‘it may seem a daunting task and an awful lot to ask,’ in the second chorus,” added Kelley. “But in the end, the Christmas story is built on a miracle so I guess that’s why these songs all hope and ask for so much.”