A very indie Christmas: brand new festive songs for 2016 from The Killers, Low and more

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Get in the festive spirit with these bands' new contributions to the Christmas canon

We all know the Christmas classics – ‘Fairytale Of New York’, ‘Last Christmas’, ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ et al. Instead of playing those tracks to death for the next fortnight, you might want to mix things up with these brand spanking new indie Christmas songs. They’re guaranteed to make you feel 100 percent more festive in an instant.

The Killers – ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’

For a decade now, Brandon Flowers and his bandmates have been gifting us a seasonal tune in the name of charity (specifically for the benefit of (RED) in the battle against AIDS). This year is no different, with a cover of Bing Crosby’s ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ that opens with a three-minute narration and features Flowers’ fourth grade teacher, Ned Humphrey Hansen.

Listen to it on Apple Music here.

She & Him – ‘Christmas Memories’

It’s also now tradition for She & Him (aka Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) to do a Christmas record. This year, they’ve released the album ‘Christmas Party’, which is full of festive standards like ‘Let It Snow’, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and this cover of ‘Christmas Memories’. The track has previously been released by Barbra Streisand and jazz singer Rosemary Clooney, and the pair’s version is as poised and classy as you’d expect.

Fiona Apple – ‘The Christmas Song (Trump’s Nuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’

Singer-songwriter Fiona Apple has gone all political with her take on Nat King Cole’s ‘The Christmas Song’. Shared a month after Donald Trump won the US election, her version includes lyrics such as, “Trump’s nuts roasting on an open fire/as he keeps nipping at his foes/You cry ‘creep uncle’ every time he arrives for he keeps clawing at your clothes” and “Everybody knows some money and entitlement can help to make the season white/Mothers of color with their kids out of sight will find it hard to sleep at night”.

The Melvins – ‘Carol Of The Bells’

Part of Amazon’s annual ‘Indie For The Holidays’ compilation, the US alt.rock band have covered this 1914 song that’s featured in everything from Home Alone to Stranger Things. It’s a good choice for the group – the original is pretty creepy as Christmas songs go and they go hell for leather to add some fury to that feeling. “The song has scared us since we were children, that’s why we wanted to do it,” King Buzzo has explained of their motives behind covering it.

The Melvins – “Carol Of The Bells” by Amazon Music

From the Amazon Music Original Playlist “Indie For The Holidays”

Best Coast – ‘Christmas And Everyday’

Bethany Cosentino goes full on ’60s girl-group pop on this track taken from Amazon’s original new kids’ special An American Girl Story – Maryellen 1955: Extraordinary Christmas. “Did you know when you wake up you can be anything,” goes the chorus and Cosentino has said the song should serve as a reminder to “our youth and young girls that they are strong and capable of achieving whatever they set their minds to – on Christmas and EVERY day”.

Best Coast – Christmas And Everyday by Amazon Music

Stream Best Coast – Christmas And Everyday by Amazon Music from desktop or your mobile device

Low – ‘Some Hearts (At Christmas Time)’

Low’s 1999 album ‘Christmas’ is a seasonal indie classic so let’s all rejoice – they’ve chosen to add to that masterpiece with another wintry contribution. ‘Some Hearts (At Christmas Time)’ is a frosty beauty that will have you reaching for the mulled wine and possibly doing a little silent cry too.