Friday, November 30, 2018

Whyte Horses

Manchester psych pop outfit Whyte Horses celebrate Christmas with a glitzy original, and a wonderful Vashti Bunyan cover. Cool stuff! Get your vinyl version here.



Charlie's Hand Movements

Paul McCartney's does not write Christmas songs as good as this one, so thanks Charlie's Hand Movements for doing it for Paul:


Read CU's great review of this track, HERE

Slay Ride

Frozen Xmas

Every year Chicago-based singer-songwriter, producer and composer, Ryan O’Neal aka Sleeping At Last makes a new Christmas song. For this year he was heavily inspired by his two little daughters who totally adore Disney's Frozen. You can also still by his great compilation (LP/CD) with all his Christmas songs from the previous years: 'Christmas Collection, Vol. 1'



Sha La Das, The Dip

This came out earlier this year, it's on DapTone Records, and a surefire hit on your Xmas Complition (thanks to Joris for reminding us) (and thanks to Stubby for the comment, this track came out on vinyl in 2013! - we had this on our blog back in the day too):



Want more soul for Christmas? Try this track by Seattle's The Dip:

Confidence Man

Sexy Australian electronic dance music, Confidence Man from Brisbane bring us this great track:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Silent night

The Moomins were the central characters in a series of books and comics by Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson. All being released between 1945 and 1993. They have been the basis for numerous television series and films. In England they were on TV because of English children's television producer Anne Wood (of Teletubbies fame). The wonderful English label Finders Keepers is releasing a rare Moonin Christmas track, recorded in Leeds. 'Silent Night' played on a spooky analogue way.

punky xmas medley

Wow, these girls sure know how to punk. The Dollyrots play 5 classic Christmas songs in 3 minutes! This female-fronted rock n' punk band from California does fast versions from songs like 'Frosty The Snowman' and  even 'Silent Night'.

Where is Christmas?

American singer songwriter William Fitzsimmons recently had to cancel his Amsterdam concert. But his fans can be happy now because he made a very nice Christmas EP, 'Where Are You Christmas', with four intimate and quiet songs! Like the title track:

X-Misses

Yes. Yes. Oh yes. This is a treasure trove, people. X-Misses is a collective of musicians that worked with Jack White, Sheryl Crow and Beck, and they just released a MAGNIFICENT Christmas album. Let me repeat that: A MAGNIFICENT CHRISTMAS ALBUM. Musically rooted in the 60s and 70s, ranging from the Ramones to the Beach Boys. And with great lyrics, too. A taster (but make sure you listen to the full album):

Yorick van Norden

Yorick van Norden is what happens when you expose a child to A LOT of Beatles, Beach Boys and other great 60s music for a long time. Then, you give him a guitar. And let him form a band. And support him when he goes solo. That's the quick version, it all leads to this single. Not a Christmas song. But when you're curled up on the sofa, staring at your central heating while it pours outside on December 24th, who cares:

Remington Super 60

Norwegian husky hipsters Remington Super 60 make great Christmas music. See HERE. And hooray, they made a great new track:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Rick Buur

Exclusive: the first Christmas song by Dutch singer-songwriter Rick Buur. He made a Dutch version of this Robert Earl Keen's xmas classic. It's folksy, it's got bells, it sounds cosy, Bergen op Zoom gets a mention. This can't go wrong:

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Canadian Christmas

What's a Canadian Christmas? Listen to Death Cow, to find out (and crank up the volume!):

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Manda-Tones

Amanda and Pete form the Manda-Tones, a rockabilly duo from NYC. Upright bass and guitar, that's all. Next week, their Christmas album comes out. One track really got us craving for more!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Stippenlift - Kerstfan

Don't look any further, further (thx Dennis Edwards). The highly expected Christmas album by Stippenlift is here! This self declared Christmas fan made fourteen tracks that tickle, arouse and soothe and meanwhile invites you to ease and contemplate ('cause it's Christmas damned!). Many definitions go round the internet to frame the music by Hugo van der Poel a.k.a. Stippenlift. Personally I think 'vaporwave-electropop light' is quite an appropriate one and applicable on his Christmas album too.
Wear your depri on the outside and enjoy this Dutch treat.

Stippenlift @ Twitter
Stippenlift - Kerstfan, listen @ Spotify



Le Couleur

Super sexy French-Canadian synth-trio Le Couleur just released an EXCELLENT Christmas song. In French. Which is just magnifique. Very husky, very sweet, very good:

Milton & Jones

Posted about the great Cherryrade compilation earlier, but this track by Milton & Jones needs it's own feature. For tis great. A break up track situated during Christmas - you know those are the best. Add some wall of sound, and you get this:



The almighty Stubby wrote an extensive review of A Very Cherry Christmas XIII. HERE.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

2000 Miles

2000 Miles by The Pretenders is a solid Christmas classic. Covered many, many times. And now for this compilation, full of covers. Including, yes, this one:



Which brings us to the question of the day: what's your favourite 2000 miles cover?

Frode Fivel

We @ CAGG applaud artists who put layers and layers of gloomy guitars in their Christmas music. Take Norwegian singer-songwriter Frode Fivel. He was part of the band Hello Goodbye, he will release a Christmas song on the Cafe Superstar Recordings label (LINK). Loaded with melancholy, relationships that fall apart, tv screens - it's perfect. Just perfect. Have a listen:

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

X-Mas Extravaganza


UPDATE: Read Stubby's cool, extensive review of the full album HERE

D'you still own a cassette-player? You'll need one for this compilation, for tis released on tape. And digitally, but hey, how cool is a cassette?! As Cory Taylor Cox writes to us, "Sons of Old Town Collective is a group of bands and artists committed to building community through music. Since 2011 the collective has been promoting shows and releasing music with no genre limitations. Sons of Old Town Xmas Extravaganza Volume 2 will be released on November 30, 2018 both digitally and in a limited release cassette tape. This holiday themed compilation features new and original holiday music from 15 artists from Nashville, TN, Tupelo, Jackson, Oxford, MS and Kansas City, MO."
I heard the full album, and the tracks by PickUp Sticks and Sean Knisely are VERY welcome additions the ever-expanding list of cool alt.christmas songs. Make a note of checking those out when this comp is released, November 30th.
Here's a little taster:

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Cherryrade Christmas

For 13 years, A Very Cherry Christmas is a safe bet: this is an Xmas compilation you don't want to miss. It's CD only, two tracks are available on Bandcamp. Like this great rebuilding of an olde Slade classic. Wanna know more? Check HERE

Monday, November 19, 2018

Victor Butzelaar

Amsterdam-based musician Victor Butzelaar releases two instrumental, ambient Xmas songs this year. Atmosphere-wise, think of Joep Beving and Max Richter.
Here's the first. VB writes: "As soon as Halloween is over, Osaka turns into a fairyland of Kurisumasu lights for 55 days. This Christmas ambient song is a musical interpretation of a Lost Love at Christmas Night in Osaka. And it snows, which it rarely does in Osaka!" (Wanna sneak peek of the upcoming track? Find it HERE).

Victor about his music in general: "Making music is necessary for me to express and classify my thoughts and feelings. Eventually, it is often formed naturally, and I hope that my music arouses feelings, appeals to emotions, evokes memories. I do not care at all whether you have the same thoughts as I do or if your thoughts are completely lost, that happens to me too :-)"

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Dubby christmas

These guys may be Swiss but they sure know their way around rolling funk, reverb, roots and of course dub-wise electronics. Dub Spencer & Trance Hill is a band from Luzern. Since 2003 they are specialized in dubby songs and made about ten albums allready.  'Christmas In Dub'  (LP/CD) is their first seasonal recording. It has tracks on it like: 'Oh How Joyfully Dub (O Du Froehliche Dub)', 'Morgen Kommt Der Weihnachtsmann Dub' or 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas Dub'. It's out on the British Norman Records.  Enjoy their version from 'Jingle Bells':

Friday, November 16, 2018

Funky funky Xmas

Hat tip to the mighty CU for this: Mure's ringading glittering blue eyed funk with discoballs on!



And you may've heard this already, but hey: Hammond organ on a soulful Christmas track, we GOTTA post that, right?

More on these songs HERE

It's Cold War Outside


To think of a funny twist on a title of a well-known winter-/Christmas-y song, that's one. But to actually write solid, LOUD rocktracks after that, that's really flexin' it. Example: Quiet Company's Baby It's Cold War Outside EP. It's loud, it's from Texas baby, it sounds a bit (because their voices are alike) Death Cab for Cutie-ish. The track below is the winner. But do try the other Xmas tracks on this EP as well. VERY welcome addition to this year's stream of new Christmas releases, Top 10 Of the Year stuff.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Santa Planet

Songs like this, a christmas track chock full of 80s synthibleeps, that's what this blog is looking for. Weird, but fun. And a good track, too.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Something Shocking from the Stocking!

I mean, would could possibly be wrong with a compilation called Something Shocking from the Stocking? Especially when you know Sabbath Santa is behind this, the band that uses Black Sabbath riffs to spice up Christmas tracks. Because, well, "there’s something about the pagan roots of the holiday, that winter festival that everybody participated in, back in the old days, make it adaptable to heavy music". So, here are two examples of that:



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Exclusive preview: Tangarine

Dutch duo Tangarine (Arnout + Sander Brinks) made quite an impression earlier with their well-crafted Christmas songs. Like THIS one. And THIS one. These guys know what a solid Xmas track needs: bells, melancholia, a bit of fun and choirs! So, with extreme delight, this blog may preview their newest. An uptempo countryrocker, about the lights, not so silent nights, bells (of course) and a genuine love for Christmas. LOVING this big time!
It's officially out on November 16, on all the usual platforms. But it's here already:

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

JD McPherson

This is the best Christmas album of the year. Yes, already. It doesn't get any better than this. Trust me on this.

Stars

I love artists who dare to be desafinado (off-key). Take The Catenary Wires, Rob and Amelia , who listened to a lot of 60s girl-group pop and thought (allegedly), hey, we're not Ronnie Spector or Scott Walker, be we sure love to play music and write songs so let's do it. And their contribution to 'Stars', a compilation by WIAIWYA is right up our alley. A song about setting fire to a christmas tree, with a wall-of-sound-ish backing, how can you NOT love this? This is the first track of what promises to be a cool compilation. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 05, 2018

a star trek xmas


Star Trek actor William Shatner (Captain Kirk) has a real Christmas album out: 'Shatner Claus-The Christmas Album'. On the CD/LP  only traditionals, except 'One For You, One For Me'. Shatner provides narration for all the classics. For the singing and some of the music he came up with a bunch  of unexpected guest musicians from all over the music scene. Like Henri Rollins, Judy Collins, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Todd Rundgren, Rick Wakeman or Brad Paisley. Production work has been done by J├╝rgen Engler (yes, the guy from German band Die Krupps). Off course Iggy Pop joins the party with an unusual cover of 'Silent Night'.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

CHRISTMAS TIME IS ALMOST HERE

Within two months i tis that time of the year. After two albums Houston trio Khruangbin thought it was time for a seasonal 7 inch (green vinyl !). So they covered  the Vince Guaraldi holiday classic “Christmas Time Is Here,” from the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas. (Release november 16, 2018)

Trainwreck Dept

Released in April, so right on time, this lo-fi Xmas track by prolific Danish songwriter Jacob Faurholt, who also releases albums solo and under the moniker Crystal Shipsss.

Hello again!

Aaaaaaand we're back! We kick off the new season of alt.Christmas songs with Psychic Dancehall, aka Hollie Cook & Charles Rowell (of Crocodiles) and their 80s funkin' Santa is a freak. If the sample sounds familiair, it's from THIS track. Thanks to Christmas Underground for this!