Additional words: Will Richards
Ah, Christmas, a time for family arguments, overeating and for every musician and their uncle to release a festive song. A rare few will go down in history as stone-cold classics; but let’s be honest, most will be resigned to the seasonal song landfill site alongside Crazy Frog’s smash(?) ‘Last Christmas’ and The Cheeky Girls ‘Have a Cheeky Christmas’.
Here’s what you’ve got for your Christmas listening this year:
FEET – ‘Vegetarian Christmas’
Christmas time is not kind to the vegetarian. Sure you don’t want some turkey, mate? Ans what even IS a nut roast? Coventry band FEET have set the boring inevitability of such conversations around the dinner table to music, “anticipating what the grandparents think a vegetarian eats” over jangly rock’n’roll.
Most festive lyric: “FEET don’t eat meat / Sprouts and gravy, Linda McCartney too / Food so tasty, don’t forget to chew.”
Play it when: Your uncle tells you in excruciating detail why a Quorn roast just isn’t the same.
Taylor Swift – ‘Christmas Tree Farm’
Channelling everything that’s great about a Christmas song – it’s warm, upbeat and about as comforting as a mince pie, glass of mulled wine and an open fire – Taylor Swift harks back to her country roots on this lovely track. Get it in the closing montage to a two-out-of-five Netflix Christmas movie already.
Most festive lyric: “I close my eyes and I’m somewhere else – just like magic…”
Play it when: You want to remember that Christmas is actually often a Very Lovely Time.
Self Esteem – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is A Work Email’
Diving deep into Mariah Carey’s real desires that she never told us about in her Christmas classic, Self Esteem gives us an anti-Christmas anthem for those moments where conversation begins to run dry, and the idea of being back in your real life – yes, work emails ’n’ all – sounds very appealing.
Most (sorry, least) festive lyric: “I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but I don’t wanna eat this much”
Play it when: It’s 7pm on Christmas Day, you’re full of sprouts and wine, Downton is about to start and the festive cheer is wearing thin.
Mabel – ‘Loneliest Time Of Year’
As with Self Esteem, Mabel isn’t the biggest fan of Christmas either on ‘Loneliest Time Of Year’. “Christmas time isn’t my vibe / Brings no joy into my life,” she sings. Sure it might not be your bag if you’re a big Christmas fan, but a consolatory pat on the back for someone else who doesn’t get the hype either is always nice.
Most (again, least) festive lyric: The damning one-two of “Sleigh bells ringing, still I feel sad.”
Play it when: You’re just not feeling the whole Christmas thing.
Little Mix – ‘One I’ve Been Missing’
Another lonely Christmas tune here, this time courtesy of Little Mix, who have been missing their partners whilst on tour. The sickly sweet song has a happy ending though, with the girls celebrating being reunited with bae at the end, n’aww.
Most festive lyric: “I’ve waited all year to be near to the one I’ve been missing /This Christmas”
Play it when: when you’re reunited with your favourite family pet – we all know they’re the one you’ve really been missing this year
Kacey Musgraves feat. Troye Sivan – ‘Glittery’
New Amazon Prime Video show The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show might be the most wholesome watch you could have this festive period, and her collaboration with Troye Sivan on ‘Glittery’ is its classic highlight, sounding like a ’60s duet and embracing the simple pleasures of Christmas.
Most festive lyric: “You shake me up and turn me upside down just like a snowglobe”
Play it when: All the furore has got a bit much and you need to sit down and take a second for yourself.
Blink-182 – ‘Not Another Christmas Song’
Yes, Blink-182 – it is another Christmas song! And you wrote it! Mark, Matt and Travis are on suitably lewd form, with Hoppus singing “Why can’t we get divorced for Christmas, cause it just isn’t the same / I miss the nights that we got twisted, I miss fucking in the rain.” Chris Rea, this isn’t.
Most Blink-182 lyric: “Another year not in a coffin / Growing up or whatever you call it.”
Play it when: …you wanna get divorced at Christmas?
Flyte – ‘Won’t Be Home For Christmas’
Yet another Debbie Downer for Christmas time this year? Yep, Flyte send their apologies. Influenced by travelling around America on tour and thinking of the bleak British winter back home, ‘Won’t Be Home For Christmas’ channels the darker, sadder side of the holiday period. “It’s bleak but Christmas is bleak for a lot of people,” they say. Well there we go!
Most festive lyric: None of them, sorry.
Play it when: You can’t quite bring yourself to join in with the frivolities.
DRAM – ‘Litmas’
DRAM’s slinky Christmas jam is the sort of song that’d even make the Grinch smile. With its fuzzy chorus and none-ironic, genuinely joy-filled lyrics, it’s an utter delight.
Most festive lyric: “When the tree gets lit up I get happy/It makes me feel lit up and so happy”
Play it when: you’re flagging halfway through decorating the tree and need a pick me up
PUP – ‘(Christmas) Kids’
Canadian posi-punks PUP have given their tune ‘Kids’ a festive makeover. Gone are their melancholy-filled lyrics about being frustrated with your current position in life, and instead their seasonal remake is an ode to the joy of Christmas with friends and family.
Most festive lyric: “I guess it doesn’t matter anyway/as long as I can spend Christmas with you”
Play it when: you’re punk but still love Christmas
Alessia Cara – ‘Make It to Christmas’
Despite being upbeat and hella catchy, Alessia Cara’s seasonal song may low key be the bleakest of all this year’s Christmas tunes. ‘Make It to Christmas’ sees Cara trying to persuade her partner not to walk before the 25th – Merry Christmas one and all!
Most festive lyric: “Please, can we make it to Christmas?/Can we make it to Christmas?”
Play it when: you’re trying to persuade your partner to stay with you over Christmas as you spent a fortune on their gift
Elijah Blake – ‘5 Gold Rings’
It’s a very trappy Christmas with Elijah Blake’s play on the ’12 Days of Christmas’, ‘5 Gold Rings’. There may be no sleigh bells, but Blake still brings seasonal cheer with his sultry R&B bop.
Most festive lyric: “Every day’s a holiday with you/I just made a reservation too”
Play it when: when you’re trying to snog your old school flame in your local on Christmas eve.