For the last 10 years my pal Todd has been writing, recording and playing sadhappy pop songs around the theme of Christmas. Less treacly holiday carols than acerbic slices of holiday regret and longing, these ditties would have Scrooge tapping his foot.

Recently Todd gathered his gang of longtime players in the studio to record definitive versions of crowd favorites like “Broken Leg” and “Empty Box”. The Thought Counts is 17 songs in 23 minutes(!) and was released online and in this edition of 50 ornaments which hold USB drives containing the album and artwork. 

In addition to being an incredibly talented musician and songwriter, Todd has a fantastic DIY spirit (and no money) so he was more than willing to tackle the handwork required for this project.

The ornaments have been stenciled, painted, and have a custom rubber stamp applied. Recycled USB drives have been shucked of their casings and hand-inserted.

Each comes with a gift tag and a songbook containing lyrics and chords so you can play along at home. A download card/ornament has been created as well.

All of this was available at the band’s holiday show.

This project was a fun way to contrast hand drawn type and crafty imperfection with bold, modern colors and clean typography. This is meant to reflect the songs themselves: loose and scrappy but deployed with smarts and finesse.

I believe that creative solutions are found through deliberate intent, and can present themselves in the face of limitations. This project was a blast to work on from inception to execution!

If you’ve got 2 minutes, here’s a taste of the music: