Every year we are inundated with the same old tired Christmas tracks. Just like that fruitcake that no one wants (see below for bonus Fred Schneider coverage) new artists will try and cash in on a classic with a vocal twist on a tried and true favorite, but rarely do we get much originality or a take that is fresh. Occasionally we get a new carol, but most of the time it’s just as stale as that last Christmas cookie at the bottom of the tin. So instead of a pair of tube socks, we here at 360ºSound thought we’d give you a list (in no particular order) of Christmas songs that may or may not be on your radar, and a few that have made it into the mainstream and are worthy of their place at the adult’s table.
“Stone Soul Christmas” – Binky Griptite
Dap-Kings guitar player, Binky Griptite composes a funky uptempo soul track for the holiday. “What’s the matter with you, man! Don’t you know it’s Christmas.”
“Christmas Time is Here” – Au Revoir Simone
Dreamy and dreary, this indie-pop trio adds a little shoe-gaze to the Vince Guaraldi classic.
“Christmas Wrapping” – The Waitresses
A new-wave Christmas classic, but definitely not everyone’s cup of cocoa. I was this years old when someone explained to me that this is supposed to be a rap song.
“My First Christmas” (As A Woman) – The Vandals
Punk rock is inherently progressive, but this 1996 trans-gender Christmas tale is way ahead of its time.
“Merry Christmas” (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) – The Ramones
A plea for a peaceful family Christmas is at the top of most of our wish lists and this track captures that sentiment.
“2000 Miles” – Pretenders
A beautiful, melancholy tune that wasn’t necessarily supposed to end up specifically a Christmas song. Written for the bands’ original guitar player, James Honeyman-Scott, who died a year prior to its release.
“Christmas in Hollis” – Run-DMC
Originally found on A Very Special Christmas, an album that tried to break the same old Christmas mold 31 years ago. Run-DMC and Rick Rubin produce one of the first and best-known Christmas rap tracks.
“Fairytale of New York” – The Pogues (feat. Kirsty MacColl)
Across the pond, “Fairytale of New York” is the most played Christmas song of the 21st century. Here in the states, you are most likely to hear it belted in chorus at your local dive bar during the holla-daze.
Finally, as promised, that bonus coverage:
“Fruitcake” – Fred Schneider & the Superions
While not particularly a Christmas song at all, the ole fruitcake bit is particularly poignant during the holla-daze. Vintage Fred on vox. Merry Christmas! You’re welcome.