Thursday, November 30, 2017

Freedom Fry

The duo Freedom Fry just released their Holiday Soundtrack EP, with their takes on classic songs like "God rest ye merry gentlemen" and "Greensleeves". Their take meaning that these songs are instrumentals (ok with some humming). "Next Christmas" is a proper track, and a beauty as well.

The Clear

Our festive friends over at Lie In the Sound spotted this gem a few days ago. The Sheffield (UK) band made a Divine Comedy-ish track, that would fit well in a bitter sweet x-mas song list.

Lapland

The nice thing about running this blog, is that Chistmas enthusiasts share songs with you. Odd songs, bad songs, fantastic songs, songs you never heard before. A fantastic song I'd never heard before is 'Maybe on Christmas' by Brooklyn-based Lapland (an artist I'd never heard of). It's three years old, but needs more plays. Thanks T55 for sharing, if you like Prefab Sprout-/Babybird-ish, genteel pop with a true Christmas spirit, check out this:



Of course, CU posted this back in 2014.

Make Like Monkeys

'Christmas morning, you had gone, without a warning'. Ain't that a bummer. Make Like Monkeys wrote a great, short song about that intense feeling, in a powerpop, Dave Edmunds/Nick Lowe-ish style.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sami & Meg



Christmas is a time to break hearts, apparently. 'I saw her in the window jingling your bells', Sami and Meg sing in this delicious revenge song. It's sweet, it's lo-fi, it's great.

DMX

By DMX we do mean the rapper. And yes, it's a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-cover. Decide for yourself if it's weird or wonderful:

Cold Fins

This is VERY good, organ-drenched, jangly Christmas rock with a vintage feel, and a heartwarming message: 'It won't be Christmas time if you're not here'. Christmas Underground dug this one up, time to spread it as much as we can. Please guys, put it on Spotify and/or Bandcamp.

Santa cross the border

What if...Santa was an illegal immigrant?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

No more Christmas with the Killers

Between 2006 and 2016 The Killers released a yuletide track every year. Last year they were all compiled on the album 'Don't Waste Your Wishes'. But it seems they want to stop with this festive tradition. On Australian TV Channel 10 Killers frontman Brandon Flowers said: “We are finished with the Christmas song game, but we’re proud of what we did. We did 11 songs.” There is a chance that the album will be released on LP this year.
We're a bit sad and will surely miss the annual Killers song. Not only because they were so different and original but also because of the great and sometimes silly videos. So for the last time...here's the clip (starts at 5.20) and the making of 'Joel, The Lump Of Coal' (2014). And watch those utterly ugly sweaters. Have fun!

CAGG Give Away!



Want that wonderful A Balladeer Christmas EP, which you can hear HERE and HERE, but got no money? Enter our contest, so you can get your hands on that transparent 10-inch vinyl! What to do? Tell us your favourite December memory, in about 300 words, and we'll pick the best one before X-mas. Send to dringendgeval@hotmail.com, don't forget your address!

Monday, November 27, 2017

xmas in seattle

Dude York are a Seattle based threesome and they present an awful lot of great rocking grunchy X-mas songs on their first festive album 'Halftime For The Holidays', out on Hardly Art. All the songs from this, two boys and a girl, trio are great catchy originals. In some of them you can clearly hear influences of Bachman-Turner Overdrive or Dandy Warhols! Their only cover is 'Silent Night' and you never heard it so loud! Listen to their great X-mas version of BTO's 'Takin' Care Of Business'(from 1973).

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hattie Cooke


'I'm 26, but still beguiled, by Christmas eve', sings Hattie Cooke with her girlie voice over an ethereal organ track, the highlight on the THIRD27 cassette. A compilation by Third Kind Records, a UK based cassette label. Most tracks on this comp are instrumental and feature electronics, very atmospherical but none had so much appeal (to me) as this Cooke-song. If you like Hattie, try her album, featuring a song called Winter and one called Happy New Year, HERE.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Katie King

'Holiday Smoke Break at Tina's Place', there's no way you can NOT love a Christmas song with that title. We know we love it. Katie King wrote this in 2015, as she says herself, "in a crowded McKibben loft basement with the help of Barbara Masseorni. They had just been challenged by their roommates to write a song in 30 minutes. In 2015 Aly Jay made put music to the song in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was recorded by Jeff Lusby on the last week of November in Flagstaff. And it was cold in November, too." It's too short, we think, but great nonethelses.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The Darcy's

A slow burning, blue-eyed soul-ish Christmas track by Canadian duo The Darcy's is out now. It's great. No really, it is:

Martha

Let's call this a seasonal song by Brit alt-rockband Martha. To quote them: 'Having been battered by the cruelty of this Tory Government, "The Winter Fuel Allowance Ineligibility Blues", is a reminder that in spite of it all, we have love on our side. It's bittersweet; it's about the horrors of austerity and desperation but finding power in the tiny acts of resistance - whether it’s being in love or simply putting the heating on.'
Gear up, for this is high octane:

Ricky in December


Dutch alt.country diva Ricky Koole just released a Christmas mix of her seasonal December song - with bells on, so to speak. If Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline rock your world (and rightly so), this is for you:

christmas on a lathe cut

This is very special. A lathe cut is a record which is cut manually. It's a lot of work but this way you can make a very limited edition.  Avant-garde muscian Sacha Mullin from Chicago, did release his 'Night Of Silence EP' as a very limited lathe cut, in an edition of 25. It has three tracks: ' St. Lucia/ Night Of Silence', 'Kissing The Christmas Killer' (a Japanese original) and 'Gloria'. You can also get the songs digital. On his bandcamp, where you can also listen to these remarkable tracks.



indie girl christmas

London based indie girl band Girl Ray have a nice 7 inch out on Moshi Moshi: '(I Wish I Were Giving You A Gift) This Christmas'. In 2016 they covered 'Christmas Wrapping'. This is their own song but the B-side has a cover, 'I'll Be Home For Christmas'.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Reindeer Tribe


Yep, also back, 'ecology' Reindeer Tribe, a collective of great musicians and singers from SoCal who write (in 2015, this was SUCH a beauty) and remake Christmas faves. Mostly in an early rock'n roll style (think Roy Orbison), it's like celebrating the holidays with crinoline dresses and silver spurs. Love it, every year.

A Very Cherry Christmas #12

You know the drill, Cherryrade Records compiles one of the best indie x-mas records of the year, it's NOT available for download, you pay a ridicilous low price for such a great cd, and Bob's yer uncle! A Very Cherry Christmas #12 is here. This is the riot grrrl-ish taster track by Danish band Shrill Fit. Our order's in.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

an Irie xmas

They were already out in 2016, but Jump Up Records did a repressing this year from two great reggae 7 inches.  Brooklyn Attractors are a ska/reggae band from New York their single on red vinyl, is called 'Christmas Inna Babylon'. Roger Riva is the keyboard player from The Aggrolites and he does great versions of 'Jingle bells' and 'Deck The Halls on his single pressed on white vinyl.
Listen to the Brooklyn Attractors here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Zach Smith

Just a reminder that the Bloodshot Records Christmas album is out now. We posted about it earlier. The full album is up on all the known music services, three songs you can hear on Bandcamp. Including this great depressed ballad (below). Please listen to the beautiful Paul Kelly-cover by All Our Exes Live In Texas.

Supertonic

Not to be confused with the Canadian hard rock band of the same name, UK's Supertonic is a fourpiece, making Primitives-like (i.e. loud guitars, girlie voice) music. Their X-mas single is out now:

BIS

Yes! Keep'm coming!

The Liminanas

More divine leftfield Christmas tunes from Snowflakes, this wobbly X-mas tune by French vintage garage rockers Liminanas:

Seafang

Stop what you're doing, plug into this. THIS is the sh*t people, this is what this blog is all about. Seafang's contribution to the wonderful Snowflakes Singles Club is on fire! 'Happy when it snows' is written in that Lush/J&MC/shoegaze vibe we love so much. The other track is a cool Primitives-cover.



Check out the Snowflakes blog for more great odd X-mas tunes from last year.

an indie xmas

The boys and girl from the Californian indie pop band Echosmith (their name is a combination of Echo & The Bunnymen and The Smiths) surprise us with their 'An Echosmith Christmas' EP. It contains three songs, from which two are covers: 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)' and 'I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day' .


Monday, November 20, 2017

A Clarkson Christmas Eve

Former American Idol (2002) winner Kelly Clarkson has a Xmas tune out. Although she is often referred as "Queen Of Covers" her song is a self penned original.  'Christmas Eve' is the follow-up of her successful holiday album 'Wrapped In Red' from 2013.

sleeping with christmas?

American rock band Sleeping With Sirens are slowly becoming less hard rock and more poppy. Their seasonal song 'Christmas On The Road' is in fact all acoustic. And, very nicely, they also sing "All I want for Christmas is you" as part of their lyrics.

Laurence Made Me Cry

Great bandname, great song. 'Pavement-meets-Pinkerton-era Weezer", to quote CU, who caught this before we did. Listen:

WORLD PREMIERE: Julia P.

Dutch indie-queen Julia P. (formerly known als Julia P. Hersheimer, her mum calls her Marloes) wrote and recorded a FANTASTIC vintage sounding Christmas song. It has it all, the bells, the chorus, the merry atmosphere. To us, it sounds like a sister song to the great Fay Lovsky smash.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Gaspard Royant

This guy never disappoints:

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Originally from 1981, the famous 'Ghosts Of Christmas Past' compilation has been re-released by Les Disques Du Crépuscule several times. In 2015 as a double CD with 35 tracks, a lot more than the original LP. Now the accompanying double LP, from this CD version, is out. It contains 23 tracks from which three, from Deux Filles, Buscemi and Gavin Bryars, are not on the CD version, in fact they are brand new for this compilation.  But old '81 favorites like Tuxedomoon, Aztec Camera and Durutti Column are still part of this double LP.



Thursday, November 16, 2017

instrumental xmas

Chicago based guitarist Joel Paterson made a wonderful instrumental album with his guitar as main character. 'Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar'  is not only a great title but it's cover is also very nice and retro. It could easily be a sixties album. The music has that same feeling: one moment you seem to hear Chet Atkins and the other Les Paul passes by. All fourteen instrumentals have been recorded this summer in Paterson's home studio, sometimes based on Youtube videos he made earlier. He does convincing  covers of songs like 'Jingle Bell Rock', 'Blue Christmas', 'Silver Bells' or 'Mele Malikimaka'.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Moogieman

The Red X-Mas EP by Moogieman is just what the doctor ordered, in this (until now) meagre x-mas music season. Moogieman refers musically to Devo, Soft Cell and (apparently) early Pink Floyd. Though the title track is the winner on this four track offering, I'm posting the moody (and dead funny) second track:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Fitz And The Tantrums single

LA based Fitz And The Tantrums have their holiday 7 inch from 2010 'Santa Stole My Lady' available again. According to the band:"One of the big guy's elves found a box in the band's storage unit". You can find it in various stocking stuffer holiday bundles in their pop-up Xmas shop, here!


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Let it Snow

We had the lyric video, now there's this beauty, made from 8mm film shot by A Balladeer's mum. This is gorgeous.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The beatles and Christmas

Around the holiday season between 1963 and 1969 The Beatles used to send out a flexi-disc with a Xmassy content to all their fanclub members. These floppy singles are now worth a fortune and very rare. I have even never seen one! There is almost no music on these singles. Most of the content is funny improvised Christmas wishes from the Fab Four to the fanclub members, the so called Beatle People. 
The seven holiday messages were titled The Beatles Christmas Record (1963), Another Beatles Christmas Record (1964), The Beatles Third Christmas Record (1965), Pantomime -- Everywhere It's Christmas (1966), Christmas Time (Is Here Again) (1967), The Beatles Sixth Christmas Record (1968), which includes a guest appearance by Tiny Tim singing the Beatles song “Nowhere Man,” and The Beatles Seventh Christmas Record (1969). 
In the limited edition 7 inch boxset, 'Happy Christmas Beatle People', the seven flexies have turned into colorful singles in the original sleeves. Expected release: december 15.

Catholic Action

They speak of Christmas eve and the new year, so in my book, Catholic Action's 'New Year' counts as a Christmas song. It's a chanty tune, comparisons to Slade are on point. CA are from Glasgow and best known for their ode to Rita Ora.

Swedish folk christmas

We wrote about her in 2013 and 2015, Swedish folk singer songwriter Sofia Talvik. For ten years she recorded a self written winter/Christmas song every year, all more or less acoustic. The songs focus often on the darker side of Christmas. This year she re-did the songs to put them on an official album: 'When Winter Comes'. The album was planned to be released in 2016, but just as Sofia was working on it, her bathroom flooded and she had to choose between renovating the bathroom or finishing the album. But november 24 the album with 14 originals will be released, you can order it here.

Friday, November 03, 2017

A Balladeer lets it snow

Well, that esecalated quickly, in less than a week, Dutch bard A Balladeer crowdfunded his Christmas album. And the first track is out now (not a cover):

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

AN EXTRAORDINAIRE SIA CHRISTMAS

World famous singer songwriter, producer, music video director and Top 40 artist Sia will release her first Christmas album 'Everyday Is Christmas' (release november 17th).  It contains 10 very original self penned songs with titles like 'Puppies Are Forever', 'Ho Ho Ho' or 'Underneath The Christmas Lights '. The first single from the album, 'Santa's Coming For Us' makes me very excited about the rest of the songs.

PUNK ROCK CHRISTMAS

Punk, Xmas and vinyl is a cool combination. Cleopatra Records from America just released her great punk compilation Punk Rock Christmas from 2015 on a limited edition red vinyl LP. If you dig older bands like Slaughter & The Dogs, UK Subs, The Vibrators, Bankrupt, 45 Grave or the Members, than this seems to be an OK holiday present.  And it soon feels like Christmas!