Contrary to popular belief, fantastic Christmas music does exist. If a band comes out with a new Christmas song, it’s often celebrated because sometimes the old classics get a bit tired and sometimes they need a little spark by modern bands. In honour of those bands, this playlist is dubbed “Christmas songs that don’t suck.”
Please note that “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” isn’t on this playlist. Because that is by far my most hated Christmas song. People who think the song is funny, have some serious problems and should probably get a shrink. What I’m trying to say is this: the song has the potential of ruining Christmas.
Eels – “Christmas is Going to the Dogs” This one’s got “adorable” written all over it. It’s told through the eyes of some dogs who just want some of that sweet turkey for Christmas.
Matchbook Romance – “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” If you think Christmas music is lame, and doesn’t have an edge to it, check this one out. It melds “Carol of The Bells” and the Bing Crosby favourite to create a fantastic punk Christmas song.
Stars – “Fairytale of New York” If you can’t really handle Shane MacGowans drunken slur of the original, this will be right up your alley. Stars clean up the sound of the song, while keeping all the dirty words in. Merry Christmas, everyone!
Death Cab For Cutie – “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” Over the last forty plus years, this Darlene Love song has been covered numerous times. U2, Jon Bon Jovi, even Maria Carey have all tried their hand at it, but Death Cab For Cutie captures what truly makes this song great, the Christmas emotion.
Dragonette – “Merry Xmas (says your text message)” Sometimes Christmas songs can be about breakups. Sometimes they can be bitter. This one is all of the above but it’s still fun as hell. Plus, you’ll chuckle a bit at the cleverly timed sound of a sleigh bell to mask an F-bomb.
Hey Rosetta! – “Carry Me Home” This is exactly what Canada needs, a fantastic radio friendly Christmas song! There’s only so much Bryan Adams Christmas music that radio stations can play without drilling your head against the wall. Hey Rosetta! – a band from the Maritimes knows what’s up around Christmas time.
The Shins – “Wonderful Christmastime” Not very many people can cover Paul McCartney well, but The Shins’ front man, James Mercer squeezes every ounce of the Christmas spirit into this one. Oh yeah, there’s also handclaps – you know how I feel about clapping.
Low – “Just like Christmas” I listen to this song all year because it’s that good. You’ll know why when you hear it.
The Killers – “Happy Birthday Guadalupe!” These guys come out with a new Christmas tune every year. Some of those tunes are paint by numbers, but this one is very original in its use of a Mariachi band and dry humour about commitment. Obviously, it’s one of my favourites for that reason.
The Raveonettes – “The Christmas Song” This can make you nostalgic for past Christmases. With the lines “I don’t feel like going home now/I wish that I could stay,” it seems like the band is trying to do a modern re-telling of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and they succeed.
These Christmas tunes will get you through those cold nights and awkwardness with that drunk uncle around the dinner table. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!