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29th November 2022

Tkay Maidza writes a love letter to New York in ‘Nights In December’ 

The Australian artist’s new Christmas single breaks away from overdone festive formulas
Tkay Maidza writes a love letter to New York in ‘Nights In December’ 
Photo: Tkay Maidza – ‘Nights In December’ Official Cover Art

Has Christmas come early this year? Certainly if you’re a fan of Australian singer-songwriter and rapper Tkay Maidza, who has already got into the festive spirit this year on her new track ‘Nights In December’. 

Musicians embarking on the Christmas cash-grab is nothing new – much to the commiseration of retail workers everywhere. Plenty of artists throughout the years have pulled out the literal bells and whistles to have their chance at a Christmas number one. This year is no different, from the faux-lisped, heavily-mocked pronunciation of “kwismas” in Camilla Cabello‘s rendition of ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ to The Backstreet Boys‘ Christmas cover album, A Very Backstreet Christmas, released all the way back in mid-October to maximise their streams. But, where most artists opt for a Christmassy cover, or an unoriginal-original song, Maidza’s take on the festive single is much more interesting. 

Maidza embarks on what is more of a winter tune than a Christmas-specific track and as a result breaks from the traditional, overdone formula of the commercialised jingles of the Christmas pop song. Upon first listen you may not even notice the song is festive themed at all, as the subtleties of the wintery descriptions in the lyrics are overlaid by downtempo RnB melodies and bass heavy synths. This makes the track perfect to listen to all year round, even if it does lean towards cosy themes. 

In ‘Nights In December’ Maidza uses memories of Christmas in New York as a backdrop for budding romance. Reminiscing on past trips to the city, Maidza compares the feeling of newfound love to the captivating allure of wintry New York. Maidza makes the city sound “magical” and imbues her lyrics with a dreamlike quality: “On the streets, all my dreams/ you and me, we don’t need reality/ I hope it’s going to last forever”. 

Maidza writes from the perspective of a tourist, only seeing the beauty of the city. She describes the more obvious attractions of the “Empire State” building and “Central Park” in the snow with the same romanticised fervour of the mundane  “alleyways”, “flashing lights”, and the “neon signs”- just as one might romanticise every aspect of a new partner. 

Thematically, the track isn’t particularly unique to the Christmas genre – almost all Christmas songs draw on the idea of love to an extent – but Maidza’s neo-soul vocals and dreamy lyricism surrounding the feeling of winter rather than the commercialism of Christmas bring new flare to the holiday season. It’s definitely worth a spin this December!


You can stream the track below:

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