It’s nearly Christmas so it must be time for my annual round up of beautiful, interesting, weird and fantastical seasonal tunes, many located this year via Twitter. If you’re reading this in years to come, do get in touch and tell me about your tune so I can include it! That’s what San Diego band Pony Death Ride did a few months back.
Nothing Beats Old People at Christmas was actually released last year and features in the Pony Death Ride annual Christmas show. Look away if you are easily offended, it takes a kooky (and not entirely generous) look at those always tricky family dynamics. Boy can I relate.
Moving on, Low have come up with a gorgeous lilting song that celebrates friendship, Some Hearts (at Christmas Time). I appreciate my true friends more than ever at this time of year.
I love this song by LA based electro singer songwriter Andrew Belle. Back For Christmas is featured on A Very RELEVANT Christmas, Vol. 6, for cool young Christians.
Released in aid of Human Appeal, Christmas Number One (On My Own) by the Raglans continues in the grand tradition of charity singles. It’s a plea to consider the plight of others, with proceeds going to help people in war torn areas. A worthy cause if ever there was one.
An Old Fashioned Christmas Song by Les Bicyclettes de Belsize is a jaunty tune.
If you love your 80s vibes you’ll love You Bring the Snow by The Crookes, complete with fake retro video and subtitles. Dance along to it after one too many sherries.
Featuring an eerily similar knowingly retro video, Christmas Without Snow is by Neon Dreams from Canada. It sounds a bit rave, and more than a bit like Coldplay.
For more 80s electro vibes look no further than This Fucking Time Of Year by Charles Cave, this time with original 80s footage from a family Christmas in Pennsylvania. He says “I think it is every musician’s duty to have a stab at a Christmas song, if only once. The festive season is full of all the emotions that fuel the best songwriting at all other times of the year, so digging into those complicated family dynamics, the bleak weather, the reflecting of the year gone by can be hugely inspiring for an emotive pop song.”
All these 80s vibes resonate with me because I was a child of the 80s, and I also spent quite a few Christmases in the USA, so it all feels (un)comfortably familiar. At one time we lived on a road fondly nicknamed Christmas Tree Lane, where each house competed for extravagant Christmas decorations in the front gardens. We never drew the curtains and I remember that at dinner time I felt like I was living in a dolls house with crowds of people peering in. But I digress…
The Stars Are Made Of Mistletoe is a typical indie Christmas tune by Maylee Todd & Steve Singh, featuring cutesy female vocals and sleigh bells.
Best Coast have released this lovely Beach Boys-esque holiday tune, Christmas and Everyday, which features in the movie An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas.
An exciting new discovery for me this year is the second annual playlist compilation available exclusively from Amazon Music on Prime. Indie for the Holidays features some absolute corkers, some of which are listed below.
Los Campesinos! contribute When Christmas Comes (Boxing Day Version).
I love the sweetly harmonising voices of Joseph in Sister Winter.
Hear Holiday Road by Tennis here:
There are also a few good tunes available on Amazon from their Acoustic Christmas playlist:
Trampled by Turtles sing about Christmas In Prison.
Train contribute I Miss You, Christmas.
Jon McDevitt takes on the mysteries of Father Christmas in his new single, featuring a driving beat and jaunty fiddle. A bittersweet reflection on the real nature of Santa. Listen here as it can’t be streamed elsewhere.
Emma-Lee gives us a sparkling pop song with It Won’t Be Christmas, which owes more than a little debt to Mariah Carey.
Natalie Prass takes a lo-fi approach to the video for Everybody’s Having Fun (It’s Christmas Time) – an ode to the troubled world we find ourselves living in and the difficulty many are having in getting into the Christmas spirit this year.
I absolutely adore this echo-ey electro-pop version of the ancient carol O Holy Night by Nat Jay + Cookie Cartel. Listen to O Holy Night here.
Lastly, Hannah Epperson gives us an experimental Christmas tune in the form of White Flag, which she describes as her “post-apocalyptic Christmas single”, here paired with her simplified version of White Christmas.
With thanks to Andrea Warner for my Canadian finds. Read her original article here. I hope you enjoy listening to these alternative Christmas ditties! A very Merry Christmas all xxx
- Best Christmas Indie Songs for 2014
- Best Alternative Christmas Songs of 2015
- Favourite Christmas Indie Tunes for 2011
- Favourite Christmas Albums for 2011: For Folk’s Sake, Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler, Smith & Burrows, Kirsty Almeida
- Favourite Christmas Indie Tunes for 2012: listen to the best here!