Tommi Tikka is already known for being the musical half of The Impersonators, releasing several well reviewed singles, EPs, and albums over the years. He has been an active musician and songwriter for decades, but now has found himself for the first time releasing a Christmas song. “You know I never really thought that I’d release a Christmas tune, mostly because it always felt like such a show-biz thing to do. Artists like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra had Christmas albums; The Rolling Stones didn’t. So as a result, I never even bothered to write anything Christmasy until a few years ago.”
The song’s origins can be traced back to December 2013, when Tom was going through some pretty significant personal changes. “This was a time of great stress for me as I was going through a divorce. It was my first Christmas alone without the kids and I have never felt as sad and out of sorts as I did then. I had a little miniature Christmas tree on a chest of drawers I’d had since childhood and a bottle of Jim Beam to lift my spirits. It was okay I suppose. I’m a good cook, so I also had all the traditional foods. However, without my family, none of it felt right.”
To help pass the time, Tom picked up the guitar and began to play through old standard Christmas tunes before the seed of a new song was planted in his head. On a late night snow covered walk he thought about the lyrics, pouring his frustration into the tune and took in observations of the festivities around him. “The last bit where I walk past the church and hear the children singing is true as well. This was the end of my walk. As I watched the kids smile and sing and noticed happy couples lining up for the midnight mass, a glimmer of hope befell me. I felt reassured that I’d be happy again one day. Hence the line, “I wish Christmas could be on the whole year round”. It was an uplifting end for an otherwise rather grim song.”
A clean acoustic guitar, backed up by rich layers of strings, leads the song. Tom’s lyrics pain the picture, mixing his personal pain with the beauty of the melody. He uses details that listeners can connect to about being lonely and memories of listening to John Lennon, thinking about where he was and where he is now. The chorus has a giant and epic sound, mixing bells and drums of traditional Christmas songs with a modern pop rock sound. Tom shows a raw honesty and courage to put his emotions out there and tell his story, knowing that there are many out there who will connect to his story and be helped by a song like this. It has the sad an heartfelt story, but ends triumphantly and glimmering with hope for the future. We all go through what seem like unwinnable wars in our lives, and the holiday season has a weird way of antagonizing your emotional pain, everyone around you smiling singing “Joy To The World” isn’t going to be much help, but a song like this is. It’s a song for everyone who needs a little extra help getting through to the New Year. You can listen to “Just Like Xmas (Love Is War)” on our Prime Cuts Playlists and follow Tom Tikka & The Missing Hubcaps on the links below. Please continue to support artists like Tom and share this music with everyone you know.