Map Search

0.1 km

Alternative Christmas albums and songs that you should seek out

Alternative Christmas albums and songs that you should seek out

It’s the time of year that retail workers dread. The pressure is on to make people feel ‘Christmassy’ (suggestable?) and that means shops, restaurants and bars are piping in a continuous loop of the most familiar and famous festive tunes.

Film director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver, Scott Pilgim etc) recently asked the question of his Twitter followers:

Question to people working in retail at this time of year: What Christmas song do you not mind hearing 100 times and which Christmas song sends you plunging into a psychotic abyss?

There was a pretty brutal reaction:

Christmas Wrapping is hands down the worst Christmas song I’ve ever heard. It is ear rippingly irritating and I wish it didn’t exist.

The one I hate the most is Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas”, but put on anything by Burle Ives and I’m one happy camper

Santa Baby makes me want to hit things.

Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses, i could listen to all day. Wonderful Christmas Time by McCartney is the worst, though I’m also sick of hearing War Is Over by Lennon too. And I love the Beatles!

Place I was working started playing White Winter Hymnal by the Fleet Foxes which I adore, so that was fantastic. Wonderful Christmastime by McCartney feels like it’s been on my entire life whenever it plays, the absolute abyss.

I always have time for Stop The Cavalry, but I want Mariah Carey dead

Don’t mind – Greg Lake l Believe in Fathe Christmas Into the abyss – Jona Lewie Stop the Cavalry

When I worked in retail, I could have listened to Bing & Bowie’s Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth on a continuous loop. Lonely This Christmas by Mud got harder to take after the first few plays.

See Retail workers discuss Christmas songs they hate.

There is some great Christmas music out there. Individual tracks such as “The Fairy Tale of New York” by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, “I believe in Father Christmas” by Greg Lake and “2000 Miles” by The Pretenders still bear up after all this time. The Phil Spector Christmas Album – “A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector” – is a stone cold classic of musical production, instantly recognisable and ambitious in scope. I must also admit to a bit of soft spot for Nobel Prize for literature winning Bob Dylan’s “Must be Santa”.xmas turntable

There are definitely some lesser known artists, or famous artists with lesser known festive music that are worth tracking down. Here is list of some albums and EPs that you might not have heard yet but could grow to love:

Cara Dillon – Upon a winter’s Night – beautifully sung by Cara and beautifully produced by husband Sam Lakeman this combines magical folky versions traditional Christmas songs and lovely original songs – buy here: Cara Dillon official website

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker – Midwinter – more traditional folky acoustic loveliness here

Sufjan Stevens – Songs for Christmas – Songs for Christmas is a box set of five separate EPs of Christmas-related songs and carols recorded by independent musician Sufjan Stevens between 2001 and 2006, includes traditional and original songs like “Get Behind Me, Santa!”, “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!” and “Did I Make You Cry on Christmas? (Well, You Deserved It!)”.

Weezer – Christmas with Weezer – A Christmas EP by American rock band Weezer giving traditional carols the full on geek guitar treatment.

Tracey Thorn – Tinsel and Lights – a Christmas album by British singer Tracey Thorn. The album was released on 29 October 2012.

Various – Gift Wrapped – 20 Songs That Keep on Giving! – compilation featuring the likes of Michael Buble, My Chemical Romance, REM.

Barenaked Ladies  – Barenaked for the Holidays – A holiday-themed studio album released by Canadian band Barenaked Ladies on October 5, 2004. The album includes Christmas and Hanukkah songs as well as “Auld Lang Syne”.

The Killers – (Red) Christmas EP – The EP features the band’s yearly Christmas singles from 2006 to 2011.

She & Him – A Very She & Him Christmas – Actress and musician Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward get festive features several covers of classic holiday songs such as ‘Blue Christmas’ and ‘Sleigh Bells’.

Christmas on Death Row – compilation of rap and hip-hop artists on Death Row and Interscope records featuring Snoop Dogg, Danny Boy and 6 Feet Deep.

Kate Rusby – The Frost Is All Over – third Christmas album by English folk musician Kate Rusby featuring South Yorkshire-based material.

The Beach Boys – The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album – This contains five original songs and seven standards on a Christmas theme.

Jethro Tull – The Jethro Tull Christmas Album – A mix of new material, re-recordings of Tull’s own suitably themed material and arrangements of traditional Christmas music.

Saint Etienne  – A Glimpse of Stocking – tongue firmly in cheek and featuring Euro-pop tunes with titles like ‘No Cure for the Common Christmas’ and ‘Unwrap Me’.

There are many individual songs you could track down like Tim Minchin’s ‘White wine in the sun’, Headless Heroes’, ‘The North wind blew south’.

and Laura Marling’s ‘Goodbye England (covered in the snow)’.

Also on my playlist is The Darkness’ Christmas Time (Don’t let the bells end) because it puts a smile on my face and pleased they got away with a near single entendre.

Have a great Christmas, Midwinter, Saturnalia, Solstice etc etc.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Leave a Reply