Initially I thought it might be too early to share some of my favorite off the beaten path Christmas songs, but it turns out Christmas is only 10 days away!! So with that in mind, here are a few jams for you to consider adding to your playlist next week. And, if you’re interested in some further reading, check out my 2015 essay where I argue that Okkervil River’s “Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas” might be the actual best Christmas song.
The Rosebuds – “Oh It’s Christmas”
I have a lot of love in my heart for any band that would attempt to record an entire album of original Christmas songs. Not only did the Rosebuds do just that with their 2012 release Christmas Tree Island, but they pulled it off beautifully. This song is a highlight amongst an album full of them. With it’s jaunty melody, and healthy dose of ba-ba-bas it’ll snuggle up perfectly next to any Darlene Love classic on your Holiday Mix.
Material & Nona Hendryx – “It’s a Holiday”
Why, of course the hugely influential New York based Post-Punk/Dance Music label ZE released a Holiday album in 1981 simply entitled A Christmas Record; and of course it featured a track from James Chance called “Christmas With Satan.” This track is probably the best representation of the label’s exuberant take on it’s trademark “Mutant Disco.” It ensures that no matter what else happens at your various gatherings this year, you will be getting down.
Holy Ghost! & Classixx – “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Under the Mirrored Mistletoe Mix)”
Leave it to local heroes Classixx, and their East Coast brothers in disco arms Holy Ghost! to create this banger out of what was originally a spare, albeit lovely, Ryuichi Sakamoto score for a 1983 film of the same name. There are two versions of this cover – the more shimmery/synth focused “Fireside version” (for Christmas Morning), and this version which they stress is for Christmas night. I personally think that either version sounds fantastic at any time. As a bonus, both are available as free downloads.