The City Magazine Since 1975

In the Spirit

December 2018
In the Spirit
WRITER: 

The Silver Bells ring in the season

The Silver Bells’ new album features band members Doug Thompson, Daniel Infinger III, Nicholas Doyle, and Ballard Lesemann on its cover; (right) 2016’s It’s Christmas, Everybody!

Everyone in the music business tries to set themselves apart. Some performers employ outrageous costumes; others play marathon live shows. And then there are the acts that go far enough into their niche to really raise an eyebrow or two. The Silver Bells just might fall into that category, billing itself as “the universe’s premiere Christmas band.”

The festivity started in the early 2000s, when Nicholas Doyle joined a friend in recording original holiday songs. He and a few pals debuted The Silver Bells at 2006’s Chord & Pedal Christmas show, beginning a seasonal tradition that built up to the 2015 recording of It’s Christmas, Everybody! For the eight-song album, Doyle and the band’s other core member, guitarist Doug Thompson, lured the likes of Jack Burg, Jonathan Gray, Bill Carson, Nathan Koci, Matt Bivins, and Michael Flynn to record lighthearted tunes like “How Do You Forward Your Mail (From the North Pole)?” alongside tracks offering genuine exploration of holiday emotions.

“I enjoy being in the Christmas band because it can be both silly and serious,” says Doyle, a BoomTown implementation specialist by day. “I write other songs, but I’m really bad about finishing them. With The Silver Bells, there’s a built-in deadline.”

This year, deadlines doubled up: “We wanted to record two new songs before Ballard Lesemann, our drummer, moved to Atlanta,” Doyle explains. On November 23, The Silver Bells released a limited-edition, seven-inch vinyl recordsharing the catchy “Christmas Emergency” and “This Is Going To Be Our Year,” a tale of unrequited love in which Doyle sings hopefully over electric guitar and bubbly synth. Fans can also download the music at thesilverbells.bandcamp.com and catch the group’s full collection of holiday hits at Tin Roof on December 18.

Resources: 

Photographs courtesy of (album covers) The Silver Bells