Christmas is a time for charity, and the Killers continue their own tradition with “Christmas in L.A.” As with their seven previous Christmas singles, the new release is in partnership with (RED), the organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, with 100 percent of song proceeds going to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.
The video opens with the voice of Owen Wilson asking the voice of Harry Dean Stanton for career advice, and they end up talking about the meaning of life. Stanton’s replies are ambiguous, and it’s unclear if Wilson finds the answers that he seeks. The clip then snaps to Wilson waking up alone in his L.A. apartment on Christmas morning. As he wanders the city, the Killers provide a melancholy soundtrack. Lead vocalist Brandon Flowers sings in a wounded voice over gentle piano chords and softly strummed acoustic guitars. Dawes, who co-write and also performed on the track, add country-style vocals while Flowers spins a tale of being all alone in one of the hippest cities in the world.
The song ends with a somber extrapolation of “White Christmas” before fading out on Wilson, still alone. Despite the lonely nature of the tune, it was actually a group effort: in addition to featuring Dawes, Wilson and Harry Dean Stanton, the animation was supplied by students at Brigham Young University. An animated Warren Zevon even appears after the song references “Carmelita.” “Christmas in L.A.” will be released on iTunes.