The north and south hemisphere come together on "Light Me Up," like a warm breeze during a snowstorm.

The days are getting shorter, colder, darker here in the northern hemisphere, as we tilt and slant away from the sun. For much of North America, that means it's time to put on your mittens, sip some hot cocoa, maybe blast some Bing Crosby. For those of us on the West Coast, like many of us here at We Are: The Guard, the changing season is kind of a disorienting time. You start to get into the holiday spirit because you see it everywhere, possibly posted on social media feeds from wherever we transplanted, but it's not exactly a winter wonderland. It's a strange feeling, seeing palm trees dripping with Christmas lights or wrapping presents during the not-uncommon 60-degree days.

It's no surprise that a Californian would choose late November as a moment to drop a breezy, uplifting house banger, like Max Styler's new jam "Light Me Up."

Lest we accuse Styler of being unseasonal, however, they've incorporated some outside talent for their new single, Australian band The Griswolds, to flesh out his infectious bouncy house music. The Griswolds, we remember, is the name of the family from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, with their garish love of Christmas decorations and trashy distant relatives.

"Light Me Up" comes on like a hit, all blocky house piano chords and infectious vocal hooks. The drums break like thunder and the storm never ceases for the duration of the track. It's got a similar epic Pop house vibe to recent Justin Timberlake. It's not hard to imagine trolls bopping along to the steady-thumping beat and unforgettable vocals.



In one short, 3-minute Dance Pop anthem, we've got California, Australia, and Christmas classics all rubbing elbows. With the layers of relevant references, it's hard not to think of "Light Me Up" as a house, dripping with Christmas lights, with a raging disco house party inside. The air might be cold, but the action is hot, and we've got each other to help stay warm.

"Light Me Up" is the warm-up for a new EP Styler is about to drop. Considering it's already getting a lot of love from Billboard and regular airplay from massive DJs like Afrojack and even going on tour with Steve Aoki, this next EP is truly going to light up Max Styler's career.


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.