Monday, December 19, 2022

Perfect New Christmas Songs 2022

What were the Bestest New Christmas Songs of 2022, you ask? We got 'm all lined up in THIS Spotify playlist. Mostly originals, but a with sprinkle of covers (Katy Kirby! Bjear!) and reworks (Clean Pete!). Heck, it's even two versions of the same song this year.
Tried to show the big variety in Christmas music by adding the punk of Chubby & the Gang, the jazz of Wouter Hamel, the orchestration of Bjear, a dash of French tracks, country, cabaret, a song over nine minutes long (you guessed it, SABERTOOTH UNICORN!) and of course that funny little ditty by Wicketkeeper.

A few highlights, in a big starry night of great Christmas music: The Dutchies were in fine form this year, we featured a lot (Clean Pete, S.Lois, Gerhardt, Ro Halfhide, and more). One track that rocked our Xmas boat was 'Je hoeft niet mee naar mijn ouders' by Linde Schöne, from her truly FUN pop album. Linde is the Christmas-spiritual sis of the Clean Pete duo, in that she luuuurves the season, wants to add her own voice and style to the tracks and tries to be original. It worked.

Also from the Netherlands, Judy Blank, also a strong writer of original Christmas songs. For herself, for others. She wrote six seasonal tunes this year alone (can I say that one of them is new track for Duncan Laurence for 2023? No? Oops!). Her Beach Boys-infected 'California Christmas' became a hit on the Dutch shores, sparked a big themed post HERE, and this live version was just too charming.

If there's a Best of the Best Christmas Tracks, it's in my opinion Christmas on my Mind by Jon Bell. Everything is just perfect in this track. The atmosphere, the lyrics, the longing in his voice. It fitted in the stream of outstanding ballads by singer-songwriters that came out this season (Sara Noelle, Emmy Law, Paola Bennett, Chase Kerby, Lexie Carroll, Taylor Ashton), but stood out because it wasn't sad. Melancholy, sure: All those stories you heard as a child are/Just as true as today/Santa comes only once in a while so/All us kids best behave. But heartbreakingly sad, like Emmy White's, no.

Album wise, the two (!) Christmas lps that Australian artist Bjéar released this year, are FANTASTIC. As Jim/Christmas Underground wrote in his review: "Frankly, both these records are front-to-back more listenable than any of Sufjan’s Christmas EPs, and I feel quite comfortable making that claim.' Amen!