Saturday, December 11, 2021

Five of the Best So Far

Christmas is all'bout making lists, and checking'm twice. So before we round up the bestest new Christmas songs of this year in one handy playlist, it's time for a quick look at which original songs stuck out.

The undisputed bestest new Christmas release of 2021 is the album O Come All Ye Faithful by Hiss Golden Messenger. Jim @ Christmas Underground called it very early, and he was damn right when he wrote: 'Despite the gentle, beautiful production, your brain is buzzing and delights in the unexpected. Truly lovely stuff.' And to make things even more interesting, HGM added a dub-version of his Xmas album too. Mind, blown. On Jim's Christmas mix, HGM's Hung Fire is a highlight, but I keep going back to Grace. Country, soul, a tad of gospel, the perfect mix for the perfect song:

I called it a while ago on Twitter, the bestest Christmas single is the Sparks-infected Christmas in the Synthesizer Age by Ex-Rental. I mean, come on, that title alone. Lines like: 'When all we know is computer code/Will children know it's Christmas anymore?' It's both nostalgic and futuristic. It's a lament, and a glorious, catchy piece of pop. It's the essence of Christmas music.

It took a few weeks to admit: Christmas Getaway is the gem of all the (mostly great) Dutch additions to the Christmas pop canon this year. Merel/Blackbird's song is glamming rock'n roll, with sprinkles of soul, great melody and lyrics that are not too sugary but do really stick.

Blues-wise, the bestest releases I heard this year are by Mike Goudreau (who swamps the xmas) and G.Love & Special Sauce. The latter wins (only just) because of enthusiasm, fun (a silly song about smokin' a joint for Christmas) and ultra sweet videos like this. Best song on his album is, I think, this one:

Part of the yearly Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club, this ssssssexy track by The Shacks. When Xmas means not getting out of bed for at least 2 days:

Of course, there's more. A LOT more. Later, we'll round it up for you.