The best new Christmas songs of 2015 – featuring Bill Murray, Idris Elba and Noel Fielding

When it comes to Christmas songs, it’s usually a case of the oldies being the goodies. There are some classics that are just indestructible.

While there will always be a place in our heart for ‘Last Christmas’, with each year comes a selection of new tinsel-tinged tracks, and some of this year’s are actually worth your while.

Here are our favourite Christmas songs of 2015 so far…

The Darkness – I Am Santa

Back in 2003 The Darkness released the wonderfully falsetto tune, ‘Don’t Let The Bells End’ and it has managed to secure itself a spot as a modern Christmas classic. After much silence from the glam-rock comedy band, they’re back with ‘I Am Santa’. Justin Hawkins singing “I’m so hungry / hungry for you,” accompanied by the ’70s style video might just put this one on the map.

Palma Violets – Last Christmas on Planet Earth

London’s Palma Violets are more known for their rock’n’roll indie antics and so it doesn’t feel quite right that they’ve released a Christmas single. But fear not, there’s an absence of jingle bells and joyous festive falsetto. Both the video and song are fairly sombre, with reference to Rudolph getting shot down and, well, the last Christmas on planet earth.

The Courteeners – Winter Wonderland

Liam Fray apparently wrote this track on Norah Jones’ piano four years ago and never did anything with it. This year it has been released in aid of homeless charity Shelter. Fray’s distinctive Mancunian voice sings, mournfully, “It looks beautiful on a postcard / It’s bloody annoying after a day.” Word.

Snails – Snails Christmas (I want a new shell)

Perhaps our favourite Christmas song of the year is this offering by Future Islands side project Snails. Not only is the name amazing, the track produced by Samuel T. Herring and William Cashion of the quirky synth-pop band induces the same shivery feeling as their biggest hit ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’. A winter winner.

The Killers – Dirt Sledding

Another tune from Christmas single experts The Killers. (In fact, do The Killers do anything other than Christmas songs these days?) ‘Dirt Sledding’ seems to tell the tale of a down-and-out Santa. Brandon Flowers’ trademark warble is very much present.

Elliphant – North Star (Bloody Christmas)

Swedish singer/songwriter/rapper Elliphant has released a heart-string tugging number. It opens with “Bloody Christmas, Happy drunkard / Shattered wishes, I’m glad we meet again, Lonely white stream / Empty souls me.” We like it a lot but it’s not exactly one for the office party, just so you know.

Phoenix (feat. Bill Murray) – Alone on Christmas Day

French indie legends Phoenix AND Bill Murray covering the Beach Boys? Is this real? One of the most obscure Christmas songs ever, ‘Alone on Christmas Day’ was recorded by the Beach Boys in 1979 but never released. The new version of the song appears in Netflix’s holiday special A Very Murray Christmas. As you can gather, ‘Alone on Christmas Day’ isn’t exactly one for the office party either. In fact, this is a pretty dark list…

Loose Tapestries – Can’ Wait For Christmas

Time for some jingle bells and upbeat Christmas spirit. Not to be outdone by a Bill Murray cameo, Kasabian’s Serge and Noel Fielding have managed to get Idris Elba to perform a guest verse on their new track ‘Can’t Wait For Christmas’. The ironic track sports ridiculous, simple lyrics and is basically everything you want from a novelty festive single.

Main image: A Very Murray Christmas

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Listen to our Alternative Christmas playlist: