Christmas time, mistletoe and whining as Getintothis’ Chris Burgess takes a look at this years’ festive Singles.
Merry made-up imaginary impossible scenario anniversary celebration everyone!
Yes, it’s that time of year again, where shepherds watch flocks and angels sing harkedly, and bands throw some sleigh bell sounds onto an old B-side and call it a Christmas single.
Luckily for us, however, in among the dross and Mariah Carey covers there are some tunes that are actually pretty good.
a.P.A.t.T: Frost Robin – Festive Single of the Week
Liverpool’s avant-garde troubadours a.P.A.t.T have gone a bit Raymond Briggs on us here, with a thoroughly beautiful and heartwarming ode to a robin.
The true beauty of a.P.A.t.T is their ability to transform themselves song by song, encompassing every genre they choose to turn their hand to.
Singer Dorothy Wave’s vocal is as delicate as a snowflake, and the melody sitting behind her is as wintery as it gets – with swirling, chilly synths and simple rhythmic percussion. It might not take the Christmas number one spot, but Frost Robin is by far the best Christmas song released this year.
Mentions of robins, ice and morris dancing.
The Lost Brothers: Little Angel
A nice little builder-upper of a tune, Little Angel was written by the Irish duo as they crossed the Irish Sea during a rocky winter storm.
Available for free download on Soundcloud, the band ask that fans that download it donate money to a children’s charity of their choice. Alternatively you can download it from iTunes, where proceeds go to UNICEF.
Lots of mentions of snow.
Monster Monster: Christmas in Liverpool
“We love Christmas, we love Liverpool and one of us loves football, so we wrote this.”
Dublin-based pop duo Monster Monster have pretty clearly explained the rationale behind their Christmas offering, with accompanying video of drunken revellers and a hundred buskers.
It’s a catchy enough song, and nice to hear the city sung about by people from outside Merseyside. Singer Riona’s accent is the real highlight here though.
One mention of Bargain Booze.
Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards: Another Messy Christmas
This is the thing about Christmas songs, there’s room for the downbeat as well as the more singalong songs about reindeer. For every Roy Wood and Wizzard there’s a Gary Jules.
Dan Michaelson sits firmly in the latter camp, with a depressingly bleak tune written from the perspective of Santa’s wife.
One mention of abandoned children.
Hannah Peel: Find Peace
This is more like it, Hannah Peel brings a charming music box cover of Greg Lake’s hit, I Believe In Father Christmas. It’s the B-side of the equally charming, if more electro, Find Peace, which is worth searching out.
Peel will also be playing Liverpool’s Band Together at the Scandinavian Church on December 19 in aid of SANE.
One mention of a virgin.
Evil Blizzard: (I Hope That You Get) Nothing For Christmas
Christmas in the Evil Blizzard household must be a cheery affair.
Described by the Lancastrian heavy psych-rock outfit themselves as being a ‘disastrously inept’ single, Nothing For Christmas is about as far away from Feed The World as you can get.
This is, of course, a very good thing. It’s a dark, creepy yet playful and humorous track with perhaps the heaviest solos ever heard in a Christmas tune.
The video starts with Santa being kicked in the face and events go downhill from there.
Mentions of loneliness and shit presents.
Andy Davis: Single Christmas
This is a decent little blues-jazz number, quite downbeat and heartfelt.
However, the song isn’t the point. The video features the most downtrodden and quite frankly adorable pug of all time.
You can shove your John Lewis penguins back in your stockings, this is the real heartmelting Christmas video of the year.
Mentions of mistletoe, peace and goodwill.
One in the eye for Geldof and his patronising cluster-dirge of a song, Kenya’s multi-talented Victor Mbuvi proves that they do indeed know that it’s Christmas time in Africa.
Not only that, but they know how to celebrate in style. There’s dancing to be done, parties to be thrown and over-indulgence to be had. In many ways it’s the most traditional Christmas song on this list.
Mentions of dancing, drinking and eating too much food.
Straight No Chaser feat Kristen Bell: Text Me Merry Christmas
This is just weird. Hollywood’s Kristen Bell stars in CGI form in this truly horrendous, appalling and just plain weird song.
Granted, Bell has a decent Disney-style voice, but it’s possible the most vapid and shallow Christmas song ever written. Those videos of cats mewing their way through Jingle Bells have more depth than this.
Also, doesn’t everyone use Whatsapp these days anyway? I mean get with the times, Grandma.
Mentions of emoji, selfies and snapchat.
Steel Panther: The Stocking Song
But do you know what’s worse than Kristen Bell’s superficiality? It’s Steel Panther’s horrible and sexist ballad The Stocking Song.
Steel Panther have crossed from being an ironic faux-metal band to a sub-Darkness parody of themselves with no redeeming features whatsoever. They’re like the Christmas cracker jokes of music, everyone hates them but for some reason they still exist.
Oh listen, they’re singing about how some Christmas things can be made to sound rude. How hilarious.
This is squarely aimed at 12 year old boys. They’ve ruined Christmas.
Mentions of penis euphemisms.