If you find yourself wanting to cause power surges in public spaces (you’d find a way, you know you could) just so the ‘Christmas’ it will stop, here’s a nice little festive list that doesn’t involve power ballads or a Glee soundtrack. Oh – and maybe, if you work in retail or hospitality, you can send your boss this article along with a big ole hint: you will not endure another twenty-odd days of Michael Buble and Mariah Carey. Together, we can make a change.
1: Frightened Rabbit, She Screams Christmas
Consistently beautiful and constantly overlooked, Frightened Rabbit like to put out Christmas songs out for free quite often. There was a lot of toing and froing, but eventually, 2012’s She Screams Christmas won out. It’s got all of the usual Frabbit cosy charm, matched with and a soft, wintery echo that makes it sound like it belongs in a movie soundtrack.
2: The Knife, Reindeer
If it weren’t for the fact that the opening lyrics are “Reindeer, reindeer, reindeer” you probably wouldn’t even think this was a Christmas song. Maybe it still isn’t, but it’s a great alternative to renditions of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer. Creepy, confusing and enthralling all at once, it’s the Knife, doing what the Knife do (or rather, did) best.
3: Los Campesinos! When Christmas Comes
Familiar with the whole ‘writing your own Christmas songs’ (past festive offerings have included Kindle a Flame in Her Heart and A Doe To A Deer) bit, Los Campesinos! have come out with their offering for the 2014 season. It’s a 6-track EP titled A Los Campesinos! Christmas and When Christmas Comes is the lead track, making not of the fact that once November comes, Christmas has pretty much already begun. Complete with bells, chimes and layered vocals, it’s possibly the most “Christmassy” thing you’ll find on this list.
4: Sufjan Stevens, Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It)
In one box-set alone, Sufjan Stevens has 42 Christmas songs. Released over the course of five years (2001-2006) Songs For Christmas is a collection of five separate EPs. If not for the hilarious title or the dream-like qualities of the song itself listen to Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? for the pure relatability of dysfunctionality that seems to come Christmas-time described in the lyrics.
Bad Religion, Joy To The World
What is it about punks and Christmas? There are many a punk-Christmas cover out there, Bad Religion came out with an entire album of them last year. Joy to The World was the lead track.
Julian Casablancas, I Wish It Was Christmas Today
SNL live cover? Check. Sleigh bells? Check. Casablancas drawl? Check. Get on it.
Paul Kelly, How to Make Gravy
For when you’re a bit drunk and ready to just feel the feels.
Run DMC, Christmas in Hollis
Run DMC + Christmas. There are no actual words. Other than “yes”.