- Bryon Harris
Tom Tikka & The Missing Hubcaps - 'Just Like Xmas (Love is War)'
Review Written by Victoria Scott & Staff
Tom Tikka sings out his frustration this Christmas in his song “Just Like Xmas (Love is War).” A slow country groove on the acoustic guitar introduces the tune as Tom’s rugged vocals sing the melody. Tom Tikka’s one-person band performance is phenomenal; he has a dynamic sound and style.
He comes in with slow acoustic guitar, drum, and bass groove, and as the song progresses through the chorus, the beat becomes more upbeat and intense. During the bridge, the drums play triplets on the hi-hat, and sleigh bells chime in the background as the beat builds up again into the chorus. Executive Producer Michael Stover enhanced the overall mix. Svante Forsbäck mastered the track. Tom is a wonder with his insightful lyrics and fantastic instrumentation.
The inspiration for “Just Like Xmas (Love is War)” came to Tom Tikka during Christmas of 2013 when he was going through a divorce, and it was the first Christmas he didn’t have his kids. He prepared himself a warm meal and had a little Christmas tree, but it didn’t feel complete. Tom’s song is honest and heartbreaking as he tells his story of a day that felt empty because he doesn’t have his family around him.
As the song progresses and breaks into the bridge, he remembers when he went on a walk and passed by a church with children singing. He was given hope. So, from this sad yet hopeful Christmas day, a song was born.
“I see the snowflakes falling. They cover up the trees, I feel just like calling you, but you’re not here. Another lonely heartache, though this season’s dear. I’ve come to the conclusion, that Santa just ain’t real, now ain’t it just like Christmas, just like Christmas, just like Christmas. Love is War.” Tom’s wife, Elina Suominen, wrote, directed, filmed, and edited the music video to “Just Like Xmas (Love is War).”
Tom Tikka is a multi-talented musician and a fantastic songwriter. He writes and sings from the heart, and his song is relatable. Some people feel the Christmas blues every year because they don’t have family or friends around. “Just Like Xmas (Love is War)” is a perfect holiday song when you do not feel the Christmas spirit yet. Tom Tikka’s music reaches out to all those lonely souls this holiday season with a reminder that love is around us.
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About Tom Tikka & The Missing Hubcaps
Tom Tikka formed almost as many groups as he disbanded in his late teens and early twenties. Yet, when he finally signed his first recording contract on his 21st birthday, it was a solo deal and not a band effort. He recorded a three-song EP for Olarin Musiikki, a small indie label in Espoo (Finland), under the alias of Tom Spark. Unfortunately, the EP disappeared as quickly as it was released. Consequently, Tikka found himself in square one, without a band or a record deal.
Disappointed, Tom withdrew from music for a few years but began writing songs again once his brother Lappe Holopainen suggested that they form a songwriting team. Lappe had founded a group he was convinced would go far and he needed tunes for his new outfit. This group was Carmen Gray. Carmen Gray was signed to Sony/BMG in 2005 and during the next nine years, they went on to record three albums and one EP. The group's entire catalog (including such radio hits as “Lost In My Mind Again”, “Gates Of Loneliness” & “Life Can Be Beautiful”) was penned by Tom Tikka & Lappe Holopainen.
After Carmen Gray disbanded in 2013, Tikka formed his current group The Impersonators with poet Antti Autio. In 2017, The Impersonators signed with FBP, a German label based out of Frankfurt. Together with their producer Janne Saksa, the Josie Award-nominated The Impersonators have released tunes to rave reviews and a considerable amount of radio attention. In April 2020, Tom began working with MTS Records and has released two critically-acclaimed EPs since as well as two hit singles, "Working Class Voodoo" and "Driving Me Insane."
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