Sunday, December 06, 2015
12 Songs Of Christmas: Time For The Obligatory Festive Tune Fest
It wouldn't quite be Christmas without bursts of seasonal tunes regailing our ears in every store, on every airwave, and slotted in in the course of every TV ad break. It has now become an annual event for some artists to turn our their festive audio fare each December, and for 2015 we have picked a top 12 of some of what's on offer.
SPARKS - CHRISTMAS WITHOUT A PRAYER
The new single from Ron and Russell Mael, released December 4 on Lil' Beethoven Records. Speaking about the single, they said: "As the tradition has been in Sparks, every 41 years marks the time to share an ode to Christmas. It's 2015, and 'tis the season. So please celebrate our 'Christmas Without A Prayer' release. And stay tuned for exciting Xmas news for 2056".
D.I.D - TV CHRISTMAS
Out on the big December 25 day itself, Nottingham alt-rockers D.I.D offer a slice of melancholy in this ‘dark-humoured take on the force-fed joy of the holiday period’.
THE KILLERS - DIRT SLEDDING
The Killers’ annual Christmas single - and third in the trilogy with 2007’s 'Don’t Shoot Me Santa' and 2012’s 'I Feel It In My Bones' - with all proceeds from the single going to RED, a global Aids charity.
PHOENIX - ALONE ON CHRISTMAS DAY (ft. Bill Murray)
The new holiday single from Phoenix is a cover of an unreleased Beach Boys track, updated here with help from Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Shaffer, and Buster Poindexter. Released as a 7" single and digitally, all proceeds will go to Unicef.
DEEP SEA DIVER - THE FIRST NOEL
Seattle's Deep Sea Diver have just released their festive EP, 'It's Christmas Time', with covers of four Christmas classics. The carol 'The First Noel' is given a magical, seasonal spin.
CHASING DEER - TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS
The Christmas offering from the pop-rock Midlands five-piece, and featuring the vocals of Sophia Vassalos, in a duet with lead singer/songwriter Rob Hodkinson about a couple being apart on Christmas Day.
SWEET BABOO - DON'T BE ALONE (THIS CHRISTMAS)
Cardiff's Stephen Black hands out sleigh bells and a bit of sax on this first track from upcoming EP, ‘Dennis’, out February 26 via Moshi Moshi. Co-written with Paul Jones, Black recalls, “It was written and recorded, like all good Christmas songs, in the height of summer, around the time of the Labour leadership debate and I had imagined Jeremy Corbyn as Father Christmas so it has a vaguely political message.”
FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS - (TOO RIGHT) IT'S CHRISTMAS (ft. Edwyn Collins)
The first ever Christmas single by Frankie & The Heartstrings, and what better than a festive jingle, with Edwyn Collins guesting with a spoken-word part.
PALMA VIOLETS - LAST CHRISTMAS ON PLANET EARTH
The Christmas single from the Violets (released last week on Rough Trade), comes as part of a full festive package with an online advent calendar of "daily reveals of covers, poems and other festive treats from some very well-known indie stars as well as the boys themselves," and can be found at the Palma Violets website.
CARLY RAE JEPSEN - LAST CHRISTMAS
A cover of Wham!'s Christmas standard is Jepsen's Yuletide delivery, with extra helpings of synth and sax for the Canadian pop songstress.
CASSIE RAMONE - RUN RUN RUDOLPH
The former vocalist with the Vivian Girls releases a solo Christmas album - 'Christmas In Reno', out on December 11 via Burger Records - from which this first single, a cover of Chuck Berry’s 'Run Run Rudolph', comes.
Ramone’s rendition of “Run Run Rudolph” has an emphasis on distorted guitar and echoing vocals.
SUMMER CAMP - I DON'T WANNA WAIT TIL CHRISTMAS
Sweet seasonal sentiments in this Lead track from Summer Camp’s new 'Christmas' EP, out now through Moshi Moshi. Speaking about the EP, the indie pop duo, Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey, said: "We love Christmas and we love Christmas music. From Bing Crosby to Low, there's a lot of great festive tunes out there. Christmas can be a time of high drama, like the old family argument that always seems to come up, or it can be a time when you realise all the great stuff in your life. We've made an EP with some new songs celebrating all those things, and we've put couple of our favourite Christmas covers on there too."