Though it is anything but rare to see a band put out a holiday themed song during the month of December, Boston-via-Providence-based The Rare Occasions have a fresh track to share with us.

Where many groups would take the opportunity to record a holiday song as a chance to cover an old favorite or write yet another song about snow, presents, family, etc., The Rare Occasions have crafted one that feels like just another one of their songs. “Aglow” incorporates the delicate tinkling and wistful, distant vocals common to holiday tracks– but they retain their typical sound as well, building until bursting into a retro, garage rock chorus. There are mentions of snow and cold, but in keeping the “rock” in their sound, “Aglow” becomes a track you can listen to beyond December.

“I saw this as a chance to try something different with our lyrics,” Brian McLaughlin told Sound Of Boston. “Since holiday songs generally lack the philosophical ‘substance’ you’d expect from an indie rock song, I decided to focus in on the imagery of the winter scene itself.”

The song came into existence after a challenge proposed by Mike Levinsohn of Frank and Dependent, after Levinsohn announced the launch of his new label, TEGMENTAL.

“[Levnisohn] came up with the concept of challenging everyone to write an original winter themed song as a way of coaxing out completely new material for the label that also follows a unified theme. So I recorded “Aglow” with the help of Mike as the producer, and it was released last year as a solo effort for the TEGMENTAL Holiday EP. When the other guys in The Rare Occasions heard it, they were pretty stoked and decided to re-record it as a full band and release it under our name,” McLaughlin said.

Keeping their rock roots within a holiday sound was as seamless as it sounds in “Aglow.”

“We wanted to re-frame our song within the realm of our live sound, so the chorus is pretty thick with actual jingle bells thrown in for good measure. We kept the verse whisper-quiet with glockenspiel to give it that kind of magical Christmas-y sound,” McLaughlin said. “The disparity between the quiet verse and the triumphant rock chorus was sort of our attempt at juxtaposing the sparse wintery scene these two lovers are walking through with the joy and warmth they feel internally.”

Making “cheeky, angular, and dynamic songs that ask big questions sometimes,” The Rare Occasions said they don’t see any more holiday songs in their future– but are working to put out a full-length release some time in the new year. The recording will be available for purchase starting tomorrow, though “Aglow” will appear as a free bonus track on the band’s previous recordings for download on their Bandcamp. You can catch them at O’Brien’s on December 6th.

The track is available for a $1 purchase here.

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