Alternative Christmas Music: 2016's playlist

I'm off to Iceland for a holiday for the next fortnight. So whilst I usually wait until December has started to send off my playlist, this year I'm going early. 
20 of the coolest Christmas songs. If you don't already know it's not necessarily the best Christmas songs from this year, it's just a CDs worth of music for me to share with my friends in preference to a boring Christmas card. Let me know what you like and what you don't in the comment section or by the twitters @xmassongblog
Of course if there's another song you think we might like then drop us a line about that too.

Anyways onto this years selections.
  1. Xmas Time Of the Year - Green Day
  2. I Don’t Wanna Wait Til Christmas - Summer Camp
  3. Xmas for the Jews - Rogue Wave
  4. Angels We Have Heard On High - Sufjan Stevens
  5. Christmas Will Break Your Heart - LCD Soundsystem
  6. The Christmas Waltz -Lisa Hannigan
  7. Do You Hear What I Hear - Mark Kozelek
  8. Dirt Sledding - The Killers
  9. Alone on Christmas Day - Phoenix
  10. Last Christmas On Planet Earth - Palma Violets
  11. Christmas Everyday - Best Coast
  12. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Marika Hackman
  13. My Beer Drunk Soul Is Sadder Than All the Dead Christmas Trees In the World - Broken Records
  14. 2000 Miles - The Leisure Society
  15. Hang An Ornament - Grandaddy & Band of Horses
  16. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Rufus Wainwright
  17. Green Grows The Holly - Calexico
  18. Blue Christmas - Bright Eyes
  19. Silver Bells - The Flaming Lips
  20. The Season’s Upon Us - Dropkick Murphys

1 Xmas Time Of the Year - Green Day
Punk rocks elder statesmen released this Xmassong on Christmas Eve last year.  Perfect timing for this years list. You'll need a Green Day Christmas Jumper to enjoy it to it's fullest though.No links to buy the song but the video is below.

2 I Don’t Wanna Wait Til Christmas - Summer Camp
Summer Camp gave us a Christmas EP last year and from that this is one of the original xmas songs. Jeremy sings which from what I've heard before is not the norm. The EP is still available from the link above for just £2.50 bargain. Or you know the links below for nearly a fiver.

Amazon


3 Xmas for the Jews - Rogue Wave
Including the particularly wonderful line of "Kwanza for the Hindus". Lead singer Zach Rogue finds some comfort initially feeling left out in this gentle modern folk. It's lovely and it's a free download via Soundcloud below.


4 Angels We Have Heard On High - Sufjan Stevens
What would a Christmas Playlist be without some Sufjan.He's been on just about every single one of my playlists and probably will be for years to come, I mean there's enough songs right. This is is a stripped back banjo and vocal song reminiscent of the Age of Adz album through repeated use of "Gloria"

Amazon
 

5 Christmas Will Break Your Heart - LCD Soundsystem
This one came out of nowhere last year. Their first single in 5 years and it's a slow mildly depressing take on Christmas. I'm gonna need to update my most depressing Christmas songs playlist.  
Amazon 



6 The Christmas Waltz -Lisa Hannigan
Lisa Hannigan keeps it simple this time after a lush Orchestral backed version of River last year. It's the Christmas Standard sung as it's supposed to be but by one of my favourite voices. No links to buy but the video as always below.


7 Do You Hear What I Hear - Mark Kozelek
Sun Kil Moon's lead singer released one of the finest Christmas albums in my opinion and sooner or later I'll get round to blogging a list of the finest indie Christmas albums. This is another quiet one and it's a thing of quiet beauty.
Amazon 



8 Dirt Sledding - The Killers
The Killers have collated all their Christmas singles into an album this year. Will this years spoken word effort be the last of them then? We go back a year further with guest appearances from Ryan Pardey and Richard Dreyfuss. As with every year it's all for the very worth (RED) charity.



9 Alone on Christmas Day - Phoenix
Phoenix performed this for the Bill Murray Christmas special. It's actually an unreleased Beach Boys song for an aborted Christmas Album. I love Phoenix so this was a very welcome surprise last year.
Amazon


   
10 Last Christmas On Planet Earth - Palma Violets
NME lauded Indie Rockers Palma Violets wouldn't be the first band you'd expect to do a Christmas song but here we are and it's stonking. A brooding baseline gives way to classic pop Christmas song almost in the style of Elton or Wizard albeit that the lyrical content lends itself more to the booze soaked video.
Amazon 



11 Christmas Everyday - Best Coast
What is it about good basslines this year. Amazon have been good to this indie Christmas playlist over the last few years with playlists of their own and getting indie bands to produce songs for their own Christmas albums. This year they commissioned a Christmas special for Amazon Prime TV and got Best Coast one of our favourite little bands to produce a new song. This is it another happy classic indie rock with sleigh bells thrown in to make sure you don't miss the Christmas lyrics.
Amazon


12 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Marika Hackman
Marika Hackman has made us smile this year by taking on her previous Christmas efforts and releasing a whole Christmas EP. This however is a previous years effort. No purchase links but the video is below.


13 My Beer Drunk Soul Is Sadder Than All the Dead Christmas Trees In the World - Broken Records.
It's year of very long titles which always causes me a problem when I try to fit the titles onto a CD to send to my friends instead of a proper Christmas card.This is much more fun than the title suggests. Often some of the most heart wrenching sad music in the business this races along like a proper hit. Why this band is not more successful is quite beyond me.

 
14 2000 Miles - The Leisure Society
A faithful retelling of the Pretender's classic here. No more complicated than that.


15 Hang An Ornament - Grandaddy & Band of Horses
How I managed to miss this last year I don't rightly know and it got me a bit too excited when I heard about it. Love Grandaddy so a Christmas song by them is just pure bait for me. Listen and find out for yourself how lovely it is.
Amazon



16 It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Rufus Wainwright
Rufus just wants to be a crooner at heart doesn't he. It's much better than Buble as I keep telling people... they don't listen but hey. Taken from a soundtrack to a film that doesn't warrant the advertising space here it's a fine Christmassy classic version.
Amazon


   
17 Green Grows The Holly - Calexico
Originating from Arizona Calexico take on an old English carol and give it a Southwest feel complete with mournful mariachi trumpet.
Amazon



18 Blue Christmas - Bright Eyes
Bright Eyes Christmas album is the thing of legend but this is one of the few moments it steps up the tempo. Of course when it does it takes on a song made famous by Elvis. Still the lyrical content is depressive, wouldn't be Bright Eyes ant other way.
Amazon 


 
19 Silver Bells - The Flaming Lips
Xmassongblog stalwarts the Flaming Lips released an album of Christmas instrumentals back in 2010. I'm surprised I have not used more of the songs yet. This is one of the best tracks on the album and surprisingly for them one of the most straight forward covers. 
Amazon



The Season’s Upon Us - Dropkick Murphys
So we bookend this years playlist with veteran punk acts. The Dropkick Murphy's rip through their family's in a good old fashioned Celtic drinking song. It's a spiritual successor to Fairytale of New York.
Amazon

 
So let us know what you think of this years list xmassongblog@hotmail.com or @xmassongblog on twitter.

Comments

  1. New Christmas Classic Listen here and comment https://youtu.be/LmtravmjrW0

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