That’s right it’s our regular weekly news round-up given a Christmas spin. Honestly there are at least five Christmas songs this year that are actually worth listening to…
5. Too Right It’s Edwyn & The Heartstrings
Okay we’ll admit this song does sound a bit too much like The Darkness, but you definitely can’t argue that Frankie & The Heartstrings collaboration with their producer come-mentor Edwyn Collins doesn’t get into the spirit of things. Not only is this track joyously daft, it’s also almost certainly the first song to be released on Christmas cake, with the band selling slices at their December show with a download code written on them. Plus it’s got Edwyn Collins explaining what’s special about Christmas to him, what’s not to like?
For Fans Of (FFO): THE DARKNESS – CHRISTMAS TIME (DON’T LET THE BELLS END)
Frankie & The Heartstrings latest album, Decency, is out now via Wichita Records. They head out on a UK tour in March – all dates HERE.
4. (Un)Thanks For The Memories
At the complete opposite end of the Christmas Song spectrum to Frankie and Co is this beautiful, and rather tasteful affair from The Unthanks. Their cover of The Pretenders wintry classic 2000 Miles is lifted from their upcoming 10th anniversary compilation, Archive Treasures.
This version of the track replaces the originals woozy electric guitar riff with a plaintive piano line, allowing the always beautiful folk-tinged harmonies of The Unthanks to shine through. This version truly taps into the songs natural themes of longing, distance and heart-ache, plus there’s actual jingle bells!
FFO: JONI MITCHELL – RIVER
Archive Treasures is out now via Rabble Rouser. The Unthanks have a handful of upcoming dates – click HERE for details.
3. The Sweet Sound Of Christmas
Sweet Baboo’s track combines mid-paced piano, saxophones and sleigh-bells with an anti-austerity message to produce the most 2015 of 2015’s Christmas songs. The track looks at the modern world from Santa’s point of view, whether it’s his zero-hour contract, dodging war-planes on his sleigh or his long terms fears for the melting North Pole Ice Caps. All delivered with a flourish of Sweet Baboo’s trademark wit.
Discussing the track, Sweet Baboo has admitted at least part of the inspiration for the track came from watching Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Leadership contest and picturing him as the left’s very own Father Christmas. Bizarre and brilliant, it’s exactly the Christmas song you’d hoped Sweet Baboo would write.
FFO: HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT – ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A DUKLA PRAGUE AWAY KIT
Don’t Be Alone (This Christmas) features on the upcoming Dennis EP which will be released in February. Sweet Baboo is heading out on tour at the end of January, click HERE for details.
2. Christmas In Summer?
London-duo Summer Camp have gone one better than just releasing a Christmas song, they’ve released an entire Christmas EP. The record contains a couple of classic covers and some delightful originals to boot!
The EP’s lead track is the superb; I Don’t Wanna Wait ‘Til Christmas. Featuring a Spectorish-drum beat, glockenspiel and Elizabeth’s soaring backing vocals, behind Jeremy’s lead, and just a hint of melancholy, it sounds as Christmassy as a cork popping out of a bottle of port, and just as exciting.
FFO: SLOW CLUB – CHRISTMAS TV
Summer Camp’s Christmas EP is out now via Moshi Moshi Records.
1.Don’t Put All Your MONEY on this being Christmas Number One
Manchester’s MONEY are set to return early next year with their stunningly good new album, Suicide Songs coming out via Bella Union. This week they’ve shared a live version of the albums closing track, the alternative Christmas Carol, A Cocaine Christmas And An Alcoholic’s New Year.
With singer Jamie Lee perfecting his best Shane Macgowan slur, the track finds Jamie staring up from the gutter at the beautiful people who are, “in control, like Marilyn Monroe at a cocktail party”, whilst he’s “someone outrageous like Jean Genet.” It’s a world spinning, red wine drinking, anthem for the, “bleary eyed and wasted.” and whilst not likely to make any family friendly Christmas compilations, it’s the best festive thing we’ve heard for many a year.
FFO: TOM WAITS – CHRISTMAS CARD FROM A HOOKER IN MINNEAPOLIS
Suicide Songs released 29th January via Bella Union. MONEY head out on tour in February, click HERE for details.