What do you give the band that's done everything, at least when it comes to annual holiday singles? Cowboy hats, of course! Every year around this time, Las Vegas pomp-rockers the Killers release a new single benefiting AIDS-fighting charity RED. And every year, they come up with something suitably grandiose: 2008's collaboration with Elton John and Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant, 2009's Spanish-flavored team-up with Wild Light and Mariachi El Bronx, or last year's It's a Wonderful Life-themed video directed by Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess, to name a few examples.
This year, the Killers have gone country-western — relatively speaking, anyway. They've reunited for a new holiday single that fan communities are alternately calling "Cowboy Christmas" or "The Cowboy's Christmas Ball," with a digital release apparently due on Thursday, according to the blog Arjan Writes. Hear an unofficial stream here, via the Audio Perv.
The Killers' latest effort is a whimsically upbeat, shuffling tune, with plenty of local color (the Truckee River, Carson City, bighorns "a-grazin' "), and enough of a country tinge to have more than a few fans of even the Killers' synthier material itching to don their cowboy boots. Lots of chiming, holiday-friendly instrumentation, too. A drinking song? "Woo!" cries frontman Brandon Flowers, like an old ranch hand, or just a Wild West pop star having a ton of fun. Think of it as "Fairytale of Old Nevada," perhaps. Fa la-la-la-la, and a do-si-do.