An instrument you may not be all that familiar with, but one that has been accompanying the Christmas carols of Europe’s Alpine regions for centuries. In homage to the humble Christmas carol, our friends at Clash Magazine guide you through creating the perfect playlist for any festive occasion.
Gold Panda - Snow & Taxis
With steely denial, electronic music rarely embraces Christmas. Anonymous bedroom producers rarely receive any cards. Where would you even address them? Here is your best shot at a glitched up yuletide, as Peckham’s Gold Panda delivers smooth wintry dance over marching beats and festive tubulars.
Kindness - House
This isn’t a Christmas song so to speak, but the slow drum beat, warm keys and references to getting older, needing someone and general giving, are more than appropriate for a post-turkey love disco.
Darlene Love - White Christmas
The bum-da-bum drums that mark the immediately infectious opening to any Phil Spector-produced soul song, ride beneath seriously smooth vocals. The song was originally written for Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes, but she just couldn’t hack it.
Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves of Destiny - Lilliput
Another less obvious one, with zero original festive intention, but with galloping strings and the choral tones of Beth Jeans higher notes, it comes together as perfect winter folk-pop.
The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping
A stonewall classic from the period when knocking out a Christmas number in December was not only a respectable move, but a chart-chasing necessity.
Kate Bush - December Will Be Magic Again
Vocal idiosyncrasies prevail from South London’s leading consumer of industrial lycra (also singer/songwriter), with a Never For Ever-era number about rekindling some lost traditions.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - All I Want For Christmas
As a new album approached back in 2008, the NYC band decided to knock out a charmingly alternative Christmas cover, complete with jaunty guitars, belligerent bells and enough cheer to make a brussel sprout weep with joy.
Bing Crosby - Mele Kalikimaka
Not Bill Cosby, as younger generations often misunderstand. What Bing lacks in 90s sitcom experience, he makes up for with expert crooning about celebrating Christmas in far away lands.
Run DMC - Christmas In Hollis
An urban Christmas hymn from hip-hop royalty. This one describes your atypical Noël in the neighbourhoods of Queens, New York. Pretty fresh.
The Ronettes - Sleigh Ride
Another from the classic 1963 compilation ‘A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records’. This time, The Ronettes tackle the timeless light orchestral piece with motown aplomb.
The Pogues feat Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
The one true eternal Christmas hit.
All together now…It’s CHRIIIIISSTMAS!