It’s Christmas in California / Where the redwoods been burning for days / While the gold embers glow / Over Sacramento / They say we’re getting snow in LA opens the latest Noah Cyrus-PJ Harding collaboration, “Snow in LA.”
Playing like a sweet acoustic-tinged, hope-driven holiday carol, the single actually has a grim message. “’Snow in LA’ is a dark Christmas song for what feels like a pretty dark time,” the pair told Rolling Stone.
“It’s reminiscent of traditional Christmas carols (with all their reverence and hope) but contrasted by images of catastrophic climate change and looming fascism that represent so many of our fears for the future.”
Oh the children all lay awake hoping / That maybe they’ll hear Santa’s sleigh / But they know all too well / ‘Bout the lies grown-ups tell / Well at least they’ll get snow in LA, the pair sing on another verse, furthering the song’s bleak meaning.
Frequent collaborators, Cyrus and Harding are no strangers to exploring the darker side of reality together. Harding began work with Cyrus on her 2020 EP The End of Everything. In 2021, they released the joint project, People Don’t Change, a rumination on loss and spirituality.
“I was going through a lot,” Cyrus explained of People Don’t Change song “Dear August” in a conversation with American Songwriter. “I suffer from anxiety and depression. We were in this cloud of darkness where it’s very easy to fall into bad habits. July and August 2020 were the hardest parts of quarantine for me. I lost my grandma, and I was looking to the future for hope. The song reminds me you will get to the light at the end of the tunnel. It may not be perfect, but you’ll get there.”
Musical kindred spirits, Cyrus and Harding made something from that pain and uncertainty just as they’ve done with “Snow in LA.”
Listen to their latest release, below.
Photo Credit: Molly Yorkes / Courtesy of Sony Music