Golden has appeared in these pages a few times recently, as we trace the arc of singles and album releases that took up most of his time in 2020.
The Indiana-based singer-songwriter who has a propensity of carrying a ventriloquist puppet around (at least in press shots) carries a calmness within his music that soothes troubled souls in troubled times. It’s too easy to just hear the line that makes up the title, Some Kind of Holiday, and dismiss the song as a slightly melancholic longing for a day off.
But it would be unfortunate if you left it there and forgot about it. One line runs “You feel the cycle begin again. So much is lost; when’s our time to win?” This line as well as the rest of the song is delivered in such a soft blanket of utter melancholy that repeated hearings lead one eventually to succumb, helplessly, inevitably, to the kind of inviolable sadness that contains within it a weird form of contentment – or is it the peace that comes from the acceptance of that helplessness?
Some Kind of Holiday is the fourth and final single from the album of the same name, released in November of 2020, its tracks carrying echoes of Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon, all run through with a strange balance of weariness and optimism that helps to lift the music above mere background singer-songwriter smoothness and gave me at least a sense that this is, in some form, social commentary: wrought with the events that have riven the USA in the last while.
Michael Golden seems to be soothing our brow with this minimalistic homily, calling us to stop for a moment, calling us to be still; until we feel the cycle begin again.