Have Yourself a Merry Indie Christmas

So, Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year – as it is the same for many, many people. So, it only seems fitting that I kick-start the 12 days of Christmas with an indie-themed Christmas music post. Now this isn’t to say there’s anything wrong with the classics or especially with the infamous Michael Bublé christmas album. However, I have been researching covers and originals by indie artists such as Julian Casablancas, The Big Moon and Bright Eyes. Now, of course, researching is just a fancy term for listening to Christmas songs as I find myself snowed in at home.

So to kick this off, I’ll be touching on a few Spotify session covers. One that particularly caught my eye is ‘Santa Baby‘ covered by Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell and Joff Oddie. This stripped down version of the classic song, written by Joan Javits and Philip Springer, sung originally by Eartha Kitt, offers an opportunity for the two Wolf Alice members to express their raw talent. The emphasis is put on to Ellie’s extraordinary vocals in true Wolf Alice style. They are, however, well complimented by Joff’s warm six-string – typical of Fender users.

Not only this, but Spotify have also brought us a wonderful cover of ‘White Christmas‘ by none other than George Ezra. George is no stranger to the slower yet jollier songs with hits such as ‘Da Vinci Riot Police’. Yet, this jazzy twist on the classic Bing Crosby song is an excellent tribute to the late singer.

Upon digging out these Christmas songs, I stumbled across an artist I hadn’t actually heard of before – Andrew Bird. Bird is an American Violinist, Singer and Songwriter from Illinois. His genre could be described as folk-indie-rock, so maybe not to everyone’s taste. Not even to my usual taste, with the exception of a few artists such as FRONTEERS and Hudson Taylor. This one song, however, seemed to strike a chord with me. ‘So Much Wine, Merry Christmas‘. Perhaps it’s self-alienation as a Christmas song – as it digresses from the common theme that’s usually adopted by artists when developing a Christmas song. Despite this, the song deserves a place on your Christmas playlists as a soulful, warm, winter ballad.

Moving onto the next artist I discovered to have covered a Christmas song. Bright Eyes. This band might be best known for their awe inspiring track ‘First Day Of My Life‘, which was released 12 years ago. They may be known less so for their softened cover of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas‘ along with 10 other Christmas covers on their 2002, ‘A Christmas Album‘. This album offers a much slower Christmas listen, compared to the likes of Slade, Wizzard and Buble.

Now. If, like me, you love The Strokes AND Christmas then this next song is your anthem for this Christmas. Back in 2009, Strokes’ frontman, Julian Casablancas released a Strokes-esque Christmas hit called ‘I Wish It Was Christmas Today‘. Despite the underlying festivities, the song continues the true rock sound displayed by the Strokes, particularly in their 2011 album ‘Angles’ – my personal favourite. Don’t let the synth and guitar deter you from the song though. It still maintains the upbeat, festive aura you want from a Christmas song.

What a better way to round off this post than with one of my favourite female indie-rock bands, The Big Moon. The London quartet, have recently released an absolute banger, aptly titled ‘Happy New Year‘. This song joyfully tells the tale of being drunk on New Years Eve to the point of not remembering a lot.

Don’t kid yourself, we’ve all been there. If not, then this might be your year! 

The song comes with a very Big Moon video that features the four-piece dancing a well choreographed piece along with their mini-me doppelgangers which can be seen below.

I hope you enjoy my small selection of my favourite indie-Christmas tracks for this year. If you feel I’ve missed any vital hits, don’t hesitate to comment.

Ross Carley

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