Despite the festivities there’s still new tracks leaking forth this late in the year. Are they all banging on about Santa? Getintothis’ Howard Doupé rounds up the festive edition of Singles Club.
Whyte Horses – Next Year Will Be Mine – Single of the Week
Whyte Horses return with a double A side Christmas release. A Phil Spector-like gem, full of joyful eccentric kitsch, chiming Christmas bells and honeyed harmonies.
Continuing their own beautiful blend of indie-psych, cosmic folk and 60s French-style pop unique to Whyte Horses, it should be right up there deservedly so, on this year’s festive playlist. Let this soundtrack your guzzling of mulled wine and annual wrestle with the wrapping paper.
Oh, and if you can get your hands on the limited 7” released on Friday, the flip side happens to be a brilliant cover of Vashti Bunyan’s Coldest Night of the Year.
Xamvolo – Sins of a Soldier
Channeling an eclectic mix of old-school soul and jazz, while radiating a chilled, contemporary electronic vibe, Xam has been hailed as ‘the future’ by long-time fan MistaJam. Plucky strings, warm synth stabs and a lazy beat meld beautifully with Xam’s commanding, distinctive vocals.
Co-produced by Xam alongside heavyweight producers Paul Phamous and A.V (Frank Ocean), the single builds on the foundations of the 23-year-old honorary Liverpudlian’s numerous EP’s.
Gabrielle – This Christmas
She’s back! Dreams, remember that one? She had another chart topper an’ all y’know!
Well those silky tones are right at the front once more. You don’t even need to hear to know what this one’s all about- bells, brass and a dash of Santa. Doubtful whether you’ll be dashing to put it on yer Christmas list though.
Anyhow, This Christmas is apparently Gabrielle’s favorite festive tune- go on, give it a go!
Bubble & Squeak – The Christmas Stick
Choosing the festive genre as an excuse for a new collaboration, Poppy Hankin (Girl Ray) and Jof Owen (The Boy Least Likely To) debut single as Bubble & Squeak is this festive duet.
With nods to Nancy & Lee, and Courtney & Kurt (Barnett and Vile, obviously), The Christmas Stick is a misty-eyed slacker pop masterpiece. Retelling the chance encounter of two strangers on a lonely winter night. Struck by a mysterious festive talisman, they must spend the rest of the holidays together and write the ultimate Christmas love song.
Could this be the most unexpectedly sublime festive duet since Fairytale of New York?
Gabrielle Aplin and Hannah Grace – December
Now here’s a proper Christmas piano-driven ballard. Definitely one to soundtrack grabbing your cracker and diving into the nut selection.
Fresh from their performance as a duo at the Never Fade Christmas Party at Union Chapel earlier this month, this is the title track from their four track EP.
December is the friends first co-release, an idea that blossomed from their Christmas performance together last year. Both artists are due to release albums in the New Year.
Unloved – Love
Fresh from sound tracking Killing Eve, swamped in echoey vocals, Unloved (Jade Vincent, Keefus Ciancia and David Holmes) with Love have put out a perfect anecdote to the sleigh bell overload this month.
Taken from the groups second album due next year on Heavenly Records, Holmes describes the track as ‘one of the first things we cut from the new record and was inspired by the raw, propulsive sound of 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and primitive electronics’.
From what we’ve heard this album is certainly helping us get stoaked for new music post-Christmas. Live dates are due to be announced for 2019.
The Waitress – Somebody Mentioned Christmas
The Waitress is the work of Manchester based singer/songwriter Ben Turner.
It’s a whimsical little ditty full of dry wit, twinkling piano and picked acoustic guitar. There’s a heartfelt message here spurned by, someone he knows blabbering on about Christmas.
Get warming those mince pies before giving this one a listen.
Overset – Hard Truth
Liverpool’s Overset release this departure in sound from their pop-punk leanings, hinting at new directions. Hard Truth is an exploration of mental health from the viewpoint of the bands vocalist and songwriter Tim Johnston.
It’s a deeply personal track, Johnston citing ‘it was written during a really dark time in my life where I was brought back from the edge by someone very close to me.’
We’d recommend waiting for the snow to fall as the ideal backdrop for plugging into this one.
Nile Rodgers & Chic – Do You Wanna Party Feat. Lunchmoney Lewis
The legendary partnership of Nile Rodgers & Chic doesn’t often land in the singles mailbox- rarer than catching a glimpse of a snowman’s cold bits.
Taken from the feel-good album of the year It’s About Time, this is all vocoder, distinctive guitars and an uninspiring vocal from Lunchmoney. We cynically get the feeling this release is nothing short of marketing coordination with their first ever UK Arena tour. There’s not too much to raise the blood temperature here though- despite the presence of a key change! Oh dear, oh (Rein)dear.
Yeah, we all love a party here- the Xmas doo is around the corner y’know. Whilst it’s bound to be played as a 90 second floor filler at those typical Christmas office parties, I kind of get the feeling this won’t be sound tracking our festive shenanigans somehow.
Orville Peck – Big Sky
‘Ey up, a masked enigmatic country singer? We’re not having that! Or maybe we should. Are we witnessing the birth of the next big thing right here? Sub Pop seem to think so.
For a first single you’ll be taken on a campfire lullaby of tales of past relationships with an aloof biker, an abusive boxer and a protective jailer in the Florida Keys. The savior being the Big Sky.
It’s all brooding, minimal banjo and spaghetti western reverbed guitar. If moody cowboy bondage tickles your fancy, you’ll love it.
With his debut album due next year, Orville Peck will be crooning his way across the badlands of America- via London. The future’s undoubtedly looking interesting, at least.
Pizzagirl – Pizza For Christmas
This is more like it. Enough of that serious muso offerings, let’s get back to that Christmas vibe. Here’s what we all need an emotional roller-coaster little ditty about yuletide loneliness from Pizzagirl.
Picture the scene: the winter winds have destroyed your phone line, the internet’s down and after burning that turkey you slaved over it finally hits you, you’re eating pizza for Christmas.
With that classic dreamy 80’s synth sound combined with a mention of our favorite food, this is undoubtedly one to throw another log on the fire for.