It takes me a while to get the Christmas feeling. It’s not through choice – I can watch Home Alone on repeat, whilst filling my face with mince pies and mulled wine, really putting the effort in, and the feeling still refuses to set in until about a week before. This year, I’ve found a cure – bypassing a lot of bad Christmas music with some bona-fide festive bangers.
There’s a place for bad Christmas music. Half cut in a pub on Christmas eve, or wearing a party hat round at your Nan’s. Some of it I can handle, but an awful lot of it makes me want to pull off my ears. So, I’ve put together an alternative playlist. Have a listen and spread the joy, ya filthy animals.
1. Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
A perky, synthy offering from The Strokes front man. If this doesn’t put a spring in your step, then I’m afraid you’re dead inside.
2. Los Campesinos! – Kindle A Flame In Her Heart
Taken from last 2014’s ‘A Los Campesinos! Christmas’, this is a track I could happily listen to all year round. Funny, self aware and with a great singalong chorus.
3. Frightened Rabbit – It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop
I can never heap enough praise on Frightened Rabbit. A beautiful ode to putting everything aside for Christmas. Stunning.
4. The Cribs – Glandular Fever Got The Best Of Me
A bonus track from 2012’s ‘In the Belly of the Brazen Bull’. There is nothing festive about glandular fever, but the Wakefield band of brothers somehow manage it.
5. Slow Club – Christmas TV
This pretty little number celebrates the simple things about Christmas, and the importance of sharing it with someone. Gorgeous boy/girl harmonies, guaranteed to make you all warm and fuzzy inside.
6. Smith and Burrows – This Ain’t New Jersey
For me, this is quite simply the most beautiful Christmas song ever. A collaboration between Editors singer Tom Smith and Razorlight’s Andy Burrows, it’s the stand out track from an album I look forward to listening to every year. A tale of being snowed in at a pub on Christmas Eve has never sounded so romantic, honest and heart warming.
7. Charles Cave – This Fucking Time Of Year
A slightly bleaker Christmas outlook from the White Lies man, it toes the line between misery and Christmassy mirth. Lovely stuff.
8. Belle and Sebastian – Are You Coming Over For Christmas?
Everything you want from a Belle and Sebastian track. It’s like a big cuddle. Lyrically wry and twee, but with the feel of an old Christmas classic.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – All I Want For Christmas
9. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – All I Want For Christmas
A sugary sweet offering from Yeah Yeah Yeahs. A “fa-la-la” chourus, sleigh bells and lovely jangly guitar.
10. Frank Turner – Last Christmas
I didn’t set out to put any covers on this list, but I couldn’t leave this one out. I was in the audience for this recording at Islington’s Union Chapel, a few years back, and it was a cracking end to the gig. Frank roars his way through the Wham classic with what feels like genuine heartbreak.