Thursday, November 26, 2020

French/Russian ska/punk + Dollyrots

Ska and punk always mix very well. In the case of this 7 inch EP (in many colors) called 'Christmas Fight Diary'. Tis a shared EP; ska from French verterans Skarface and ska-punk from the band Suspense Heroes Syndicate from Moscow. They do crazy covers of French seasonal faves 'Petit Papa Noel'(a rather drunk version) and the Jacques Dutronc smash 'La Fille Du Pere Noel', their Russian counterparts go for modern standards 'Merry Christmas' (Ramones) and 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town'.

And while we're on the subject, how'bout The Dollyrots' seasonal release? Two sunny Californian sing-a-long-punk covers! Hey ho ho ho, let's go:

Skye Zentz

This song is, for me, the highlight of an EP with self-penned Christmas songs by Norfolk, Virginia resident Skye Zentz. With just a few instruments, she hits all the right spots. It's been quite a year, but there's an up on the downside:

It's COVID outside

The covid-christmas hits just keep on coming. Here's a round-up of recent finds. More HERE:

This is a really great, updated classic (well sung too):

(h/t to James/CU for this one)

On that same note, a classic, covid-style

Of course there are more examples, like this Slade-update by Goldie Lookin Chain, Lennon's Happy Xmas updated, Chris Stapleton (for Jimmy Kimmel) doing a covid-medley, and this 12 Days of Christmas/Quarantine version (there are more, far more).

So why not be frank about it?


Regular name on the alt. Christmas scene, X-Mas Donkey. This discofied track brings a lil' sunshine to the covid-theme:
Nice, cosy popsong:


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

swinging spanish christmas

It's a pity Shazam doesn't do translations. Scorcia Big Band Boom swing like a great jazz orchestra. Allthough it lacks the 'balls' of Brian Setzer and his orchestra. But it's very special, only I really can't understand where they sing about. The 7 inch has a great cover and it's out on Mitik Records from Spain.

Soundcloud link not live yet. LINK


Kevin & Nate, best known together as Uncle Billy, are superb seasonal songwriters. Last year, they made the highly original 'It's Christmas (I'm a dog)', and if you read our post, you know the duo have had more quality tunes up their sleeve. This year, they are going straight for your heart, via your soul, brushing your tear ducts. 'Together Again' is a warm 'n cosy ballad, lovingly arranged, and with lyrics that are very 2020 (and probably on point for years to come). Thanks Uncle Billy.
When I dream, I drift away
To wakin' up on Christmas Day
Ain't a present to be opened
Just the ones I love and hold so dear

You can send the song as a Christmas e-card to loved ones. Follow THIS LINK

Kelly Finnigan

Kelly Finnigan's 'future soul classic' is out now, the full Christmas album. On all streaming services, on Bandcamp. The earlier singles were very promising, and mr Finnigan, together with band members from Dap-Kings, Orgone, Ghost Funk Orchestra and more, they all really delivered.
Listen to this pleading, Stylistics-like soul ballad.

Minimal Schlager

Minimal Schlager, great band name. If you're not familiair with Schlager, it's what Germans call smash hits of the schmaltzy kind. Example, this one. The 'Minimal' works just like the 'Prefab' in Prefab Sprout - there's nothing minimal to a Schlager. Anyway. Minimal Schlager = Fran and Alicia Parisi, bro and sis of Argentinian descent and based in both London and Berlin - for this Christmas single they worked with Art Brut singer Eddie Argos, and Laura Lee of German band Gurr. If these names sound familiair, you can probably recall their Xmas duet 'Christmas Holiday' from 2018. The Parisi's made Laura and Eddie sound like a clash between Trans X and Human League, 80s vibes all 'round, with lyrics that refer to gloom 80s as much as gloom covid-time.

Is this a good time to also bring up this fantastic xmas track featuring Eddie Argos? It probably is:

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Ron

Sunny, west-coast influenced (but 60s bands like Zombies and Raspberries spring to mind too) by New Ron. No idea who or what. But this is a damn fine track:

Matt Dorrien

Guestpost! @T55 wrote a few lines on Matt Dorien:

First track of pianist Matt Dorrien’s upcoming My Christmas Plea EP. Nice jazzy laidback tune called Burrowed. File somewhere inbetween Harry Nilsson and Randy Newman. Produced by fellow Mama Bird recording artist Ryan Oxford. Comes with lots of violins and brushed drums. The rest of the EP will be filled with two other originals and a cover of White Christmas.

Yes, MORE covid Christmas songs

Fresh batch of covid-themed Christmas songs that are worthy posting here. More? HERE
Catchy folksy, uptempo acoustic driven track:

It is what it is, right? Why not just say it (loud):

A full album! Short, yet funny songs:

Upbeat country-style, catchy as covid (great lyrics):

Put your presents under the tree, stay away 6 feet from me:

Feast of funk

Mike Mory aka DJ Tron started his DJ career at the age of 14, mixing Italo disco and house. He comes from Switzerland. On this X-mas 7 inch. He's more into funk and old skool hiphop. 'Merry Christmas' is a great funkrap track with a sample from the horns of 'Back Door Santa' (Clarence Carter). 'Santa's Coming' is all in the James Brown tradition with lots of nice samples. You can order the single from Burning Sole Records in Basel, Switzerland.

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Christmas Dick

"That record will break your heart just like the poem did. Nothing but a heartache etched in that vinyl.”
If you want to know more about the song(s), this quote and who the fantastic mr Bourbonridge is, you have to read the full story, HERE.

Louise Connell

Scottish lass Louise Connell isn't taking any chances. The proceeds of her Christmas EP go to local food banks, and the lead song on that EP is making VERY clear where she got her inspiration:
So I fill out the forms
And I do as I’m told
Little hands tug my sleeves
My God they feel cold
It's one thing in the summer
But winter’s closing
I have my pride
But that's all that I have

Her gorgeous voice, the Highland accent, the strings, it all adds to a weeper of a classic Christmas song. It's really heartfelt. Don't let this one pass you by.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Nick Piunti

Detroit native Nick Piunti got his first guitar for Christmas, so he was bound to write a seasonal song, right? This indie power pop hero has an impressive discography, if fierce, melodious rock is your thing, be sure to check out songs like 'The Upper Hand'. References; dB's, early Bryan Adams (because of the voice), Cheap Trick.
Anyhoo, 'Christmas Morning' sounds like an anthem even though, I must admit, I can't figure out the deeper meaning of the lyrics. 'As long as you're here with me', seems to be the key line. In true Christmas spirit.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Even more Christmas COVID songs

Yep, the covid-themed seasonal songs just keep on coming. Here's a fresh batch. Earlier posts here, here, and here. And this beauty.

Opinions, everybody's got 'm. This festive duo (with quite a reputation when it comes to seasonal songs) is singing a song about hugging granny at Christmas and leaving the mask off while singing. They're free to sing that, but we are free not to follow:

Modern r&b, highly emotional:

New wave-y British rock:

Tom Waits-inspired blues:

Comedy, power ballad style

Maybe this Christmas

Said it before, Ron Sexsmith's Maybe This Christmas is a modern day seasonal classic. So every now and then I check for covers. Here's a batch of very fine interpretations. Other versions HERE

Love her voice:

Folked up version:

Nice vocal play:

Instrumental guitar version:

Grooved up:

Can't let this one pass

VERY nice version by soul singer Rumer:

Etheral version (odd bandname):

Piano cover

Bring in the violin:

Black Pumas

Buzz band of the year Black Pumas are part of this year's Spotify Holiday Singles series. They made a VERY good version of the Lou Rawls seasonal classic Christmas will really be Christmas. For the soul-fans.

The Hi-Risers

Heartbreaking lyrics about being alone at Christmas, with an upbeat, driving rock'n roll rhythm. That's what you get from The Hi-Risers, a trio from Rochester, NY who released this single on HiTide Recordings. Home of many lounge, surf and rock 'n roll bands who love Christmas as much as we do. See the Bandcamp page for lots of (mostly instrumental) xmas goodies. Earlier, we posted about The Volcanics.
This track by Hi-Risers is an original, and so is What Christmas time Means to Me, that sounds like an early Jan & Dean track.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Christmas in Denmark Street

 "I wish I was back in Denmarkstreet the way it just to be the day before Christmas" sings Spizz on the new Spizzenergi 7 inch. Denmarkstreet was the centre of popmusic in the 6oties, 70ties and 80ties, with recording studioas and record/music shops. This is a sort of ballad with Christmas bells. It's produced bij famous producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Damned,  Morrissey etc).

Kelly Finnigan

New track by soulster Kelly Finnigan, from his upcoming Christmas album. Uptempo soul, with a nod to Funkadelic's I've Been Watching You (at least that's what I hear). Great track!