Unless you have the hibernation capability of an arctic circle-dwelling mammal, you have to embrace Christmas music.
Part of the allure of the Christmas song is its familiarity. That’s why the annual CD compilations are by-the-numbers checklists of Wham!, The Pogues, Shakin’ Stevens et al. Just the first few seconds of Noddy Holder screeching ‘It’s Christmas’ sets off those festive alarm bells.
But there’s always room for a new Christmas classic, and that’s why we’re starting a WOW247 playlist of this year’s best new festive tunes.
You can also tell us about your favourite Christmas tunes by using the #wow247 hashtag on Twitter.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – All I Want for Christmas
Proving Christmas can be cool, New York art-punks delivered this warm-hearted song four years ago. Karen O coos that “all I want for Christmas this year is youuuuuu” while sleigh bells jingle and guitars shiver.
The Knife – Reindeer
Swedish duo The Knife are known for their dark, brooding electronica and elaborate face masks. Festive cheer ain’t their bag. But this week the enigmatic pair announced they are returning with a new album and live dates in 2013, so what better time to dig out their Christmas offering, Reindeer, from 2006? It’s no Slade, but it’s sure to give your party a bit of late-night edge.
The xx – Last Christmas
The XX took on one of the finest Christmas singles of all time – Wham!’s Last Christmas. If that wasn’t daunting enough, they did it live on Radio One. We’ve yet to hear whether George Michael has given this cover his blessing, but it’s racked up almost 30,000 plays since this morning, so it seems to be proving popular.
The Shins – Wonderful Christmastime
Never one to be outdone by his fellow Beatles, who had all had a go at festive songs, Paul McCartney created one of the most memorable in 1979 with Wonderful Christmastime. Now US indie band The Shins have covered the classic for a new compilation called Holidays Rule. They have favoured an organ over McCartney’s early synth, but James Mercer and his bandmates have given the original a nice reboot.
Glasvegas – No Her, No HYmN
Glasvegas have unveiled their contribution to Christmas – titled No Her, No HYmN. Built on twinkling bells and staccato piano, it has a shiver-inducing quality and works best as a festive scene-setter rather than a party-starter. The single is available as a free download from glasvegas.net and the band are asking for fans for a voluntary donation to Scottish Care & Information On Miscarriage. The track isn’t on Spotify yet, so instead we’ve added one of their efforts from last year, A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss).
CeeLo Green Feat. The Muppets – All I Need Is Love
The soul singer CeeLo Green teams up with The Muppets for a fun reworking of Mahna Mahna. The video is what really makes this one, with appearances from Kermit, Miss Piggy and even a Muppet version of Green, who has a whole album of festive favourites called CeeLo’s Magic Moment out this year.