This Kacey Musgraves Christmas song really needs to be on the radio already

“Ribbons and Bows,” a Julia Michaels co-write, will thaw your frozen Scrooge heart.

December 14, 2017
This Kacey Musgraves Christmas song really needs to be on the radio already Kacey Musgraves   Universal Music Group

Last year, Ezra Koenig's new hero Kacey Musgraves put out A Very Kacey Christmas, a laid back and slightly overlooked collection of holiday-time sing-a-longs. A lot of it is really good, like her polka-fied cover of "Christmas Don't Be Late."

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But the album's best moment was a new song, one that Kacey wrote with virtuoso hit-makers Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. Called "Ribbons and Bows," it pairs lovey-dovey cheer with actual hooks. It also sounds, to my ear, like a perfect combination of its makers's gifts: "All the ladies down at the hair salon are gonna brag about what they got / Or walk in drippin' in their bobbles and trinkets and their whosits and whatnots" is an unmistakably Kacey couplet; the speedily sung pre-chorus — "There's only one thing that I want / Baby, it's hard to find" — feels extremely Julia Michaels-esque.

The song's message is of the I-don't-need-material-objects-if-I-have-the-love-and-support-of-a-real-live-human-being variety, and it's hard not to crack a smile while listening. A year after its release and I'm still here wondering: why isn't this all over the radio right now? Why is this not playing in the grocery store while I'm turning down free fruitcake samples? A message for anyone who bemoans the lack of good contemporary holiday jams: you're blowing it!!!

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This Kacey Musgraves Christmas song really needs to be on the radio already