So it’s that time of the year. Again. Fluorescent bulbs, mulled wine, stockings and those creepy stuffed little elves judging your every credit card swipe implying that you could be spending a little more for the ones you love.
What stands out most of all though are those cheesy songs of joy that effortlessly creep into your ear drum and if you’re lucky, will be forgotten by the start of the new year but you will still be wondering “what is it that I really wanted for Christmas?”
But we promise that it doesn’t have to be that way. I mean, since when did Michael Buble suddenly own Christmas radio?
So how about we share some of our favourite cheese free list of top Christmas songs? Here’s a few not-so-popular-Saint-Nick-inspired melodies that we really should be listening to more often this time of the year.
I Wish It Was Christmas Today — Julian Casablancas
Strokes frontman puts his hat into Christmas song territory and because of that, we are happy. Jingle bells accompanied by rocking guitars, synth melodies and beating tom-toms have never sounded sweeter, not to mention Casablancas’ signature almost flat sounding vocal lines make this a must listen to no matter what time of year.
I Feel It In My Bones - The Killers ft. Ryan Pardey
Las Vegas-based rock band release their 7th consecutive Christmas song and is a sequel to their 2007 song, Don’t Shoot me Santa. Not only is this a great sounding track with signature Killers synth rock arrangements, all proceeds from I Feel it in my Bones goes to AIDS charities as with their six previous Christmas releases. Also, who doesn’t like a Homicidal Santa music video?
Silver bells — Elvis Presley
This popular classic was first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell for the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid. Though many artists have had a shot at interpreting this Livingston & Evans composition, it is the King’s rendition that makes it a memorable one in my book.
All I Want For Christmas is New Year's Day — Hurts
Another modern christmas inspired composition takes a more lyrically somber and anthem sounding approach written and performed by British synthpop duo Hurts. When interviewed about the song, Hurts declared that “It’s about the worst Christmas of our lives, which we’re releasing on the best Christmas of our lives.”
Fairytale Of New York — The Pogues
Originally begun in 1985, Fairytale of New York took just over two years to complete due to multiple rewrites and failed recording attempts. Featuring singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl, this Celtic inspired waltz is more than enough to liven up your spirits at the local pub with the lads or gals.
Christmas Time’s a Comin — Emmylou Harris
I couldn’t not include a Christmas song that isn’t in the bluegrass genre department. Emmylou Harris keeps her western roots and performs this Christmas standard with a backing of Dulcimers, guitars, banjos and upright bass to support that perfectly executed country vibrato.
Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) — The Darkness
When British rock stars The Darkness were at the peak of their fame, it was no surprise that they would release a guitar driven rocking Christmas ballad to keep up the hype. Although it caught the attention of millions around the globe it somehow faded away into the Christmas song obituary. Bring this one back!
Father Christmas — The Kinks
Having been covered a number of times by bands including Green Day, Man Overboard, Bad Religion, Lit, Bowling For Soup, Smash Mouth, Deer Tick and many more, Father Christmas tells the tale of a department store owner who is beaten up by a gang of poor kids who tell him to give them money instead of toys, as toys are impractical. Smart kids.
Christmas Was Better In The 80s — The Futureheads
Sunderland Post-punk band The Futureheads show us all that punk driven christmas songs are alive and louder than ever. It may start off with that classic piano/vocal/free tempo intro (why do they all do that?) but don’t be fooled, distorted power chords, pounding drums and hallelujahs will blast you into Christmas overload with a longing for Pacman amongst other 80’s retrobilia.
We Are The Shepherds — Johnny Cash
Released off his first Christmas album and written by Cash himself this number is quickly becoming one my favorites. With no more than an acoustic guitar and a few voices to back up the iconic country singer, We are The Shepherds is nonetheless signature Cash!
10,000 Watts — Crystal Antlers
Noise, jingle bells, screaming vocals and more noise. What’s not to like? California based indie rock band Crystal Antlers bring to the table an incredibly catchy and garage sounding punk driven track along with the best sounding Ho, Ho, Ho’s that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in a long time.
A New York Christmas — Rob Thomas
Finally, if you think that none of the above tracks can accompany your mulled wine binging by the fireplace, here’s one for a more poppy sound complete with Hallelujahs and all. Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas performs this catchy track as a soloist and is more than enough to brighten the mood during the likely event of having a Christmas feast hosted by vegetarians.