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The Killers Go Country, Kind Of, for Holiday Single


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.