It's not long to go until the big day which means it's finally time to unapologetically start blasting those Christmas classics! We all love screaming out ‘Itsssss Christmaaassss’ and seeing who can deafen the neighbours the most with their poor attempt at Mariah Carey’s ‘Youuuuuuu’, but once in a while we need a modern freshen up to our Christmas playlists. So, here’s some of our favourite Indie, Rock and Alternative modern Christmas bangers that you should add into your Christmas mix this year.
Blossoms - Christmas Eve (Soul Purpose)
There probably isn’t a current band more suited to writing a Christmas classic than Stockport’s Blossoms. Released alongside the more bittersweet seasonal single ‘It’s Going To Be A Cold Winter’, this track combines all the best elements of your favourite Christmas songs while still remaining distinctively Blossoms. The band’s retro pop aesthetic already sets them in good stead for this and there additions of church bells, school choir backing and lyrics of “good cheer”, “the salvation army band” and “shelter from the snow” evoke all the warmth of your favourite Christmas jumper.
The perfect song for: Well…Christmas Eve
Abbie Ozard - Stay Another Day
Bedroom popstar Abbie Ozard has been one of our favourite artists this year, releasing an incredible EP ‘Water Based Lullabies’. However, as we’ve hit December we can’t help looking back on her 2018 rendition of East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’. Here, Abbie strips away the seasonal atmospherics and enhances the bare bones of the track. The combination of her solo, intimate guitar playing and haunting vocal style highlight the heartbreaking lyricism of the song. In our opinion it was a crime that this wasn’t used for that year’s John Lewis advert, but it remains a huge testament to natural Abbie’s ability.
The perfect song for: Cosying up late on Christmas Eve in your bedroom, staring out the window and feeling like you’re in a movie scene
The Lottery Winners - Christmas (I Won’t Be Alone)
This heartwarming tune has only been out in the world a couple of weeks but we can already guarantee this will become one of our Christmas playlist staples in the coming years. The band have a knack for producing uplifting Indie Rock anthems, making them the perfect candidates for a Chrisdtmas hit. Lyrically, the track displays conflicting emotions we may have surrounding the holiday season and the importance of spending this time with your loved ones. A Christmas sprinkle of jangly bells and smooth harmonies creates a feel-good spirit that will brighten your day.
The perfect song for: Blasting out first thing on Christmas Day
Zuzu - Distant Christmas
We all love a heartwarming ‘making it home for Christmas’ story, and Zuzu’s ‘Distant Christmas’ provides just that in a cosy 3-minute bop. She captures the feelings of your favourite Christmas movies in a tale of partners falling out but then reuniting in time for Christmas. Both heartbreaking and then heartwarming, she delivers this seasonal tune in her true sing-along Indie Pop style making it an earworming addition to your playlist.
The perfect song for: The week leading up to Christmas & melting away any family grudges
Red Rum Club - Last Christmas
Scouse sextet Red Rum Club are known for their lively performances and dance-inducing brass-infused brand of Indie Rock. They bring all of this vibrant energy to their cover of the Wham! classic. Frontman Franics Doran has all the swagger and crooning vocal style to bring out the charm on this rendition while the bright injection of Joe Corby’s trademark trumpet lines add a fun, party swing to the tune! A great modern take on a classic that makes the song their own.
The perfect song for: Revving your energy to drag you out of the Christmas dinner food coma
The Wombats - Is This Christmas?
This cynical take on Christmas may be full of teenage angst and a frustated bordeom for Christmas traditions, however, the music itself will still get you up and dancing. The track is filled with the infectious high-energy, scrappy performmce and audible camaraderie of The Wombat's debut album and is the perfect modern anthem to have the whole family on their feet. The cynicism even fades away by the end of the track for a euphoric finale that belts out "Everybody loves Christmas"!!
The perfect song for: Singing along to when you've had one too many breakfast beers
FEET - Vegetarian Christmas
This jangly Alternative bop is a playfully wry take on Christmas spirit. It does contain some of the staples of festive anthems with those chiming bells and school choir backing vocals showing up again. However, the comical lyrics of swapping our Turkey for some Linda McCartney alternatives and their trademark, slack-jawed vocal delivery gives the song a quirky charm more akin for a uni house Christmas party than a family get together.
The perfect song for: Drinks with Uni mates & embracing the family fall outs
Lauran Hibberd - Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
Another modern take on a classic comes from Lauran Hibberd who adds her sassy, Americana pop to ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’. She combines gritty Rock instrumentals with her catchy pop vocals to create a track that is full of energy and doesn’t take itself too seriously! Just like Red Rum Club, she manages to make the song feel like one of her own by adding her own personal twist.
The perfect song for: Getting the party started when the relatives arrive
Willie J Healey - Merry Christmas
Perhaps our favourite recent Christmas song of all is this joyous retro ballad from Willie J Healey. Evoking the piano-led, artistic integrity of John Lennon in its early parts, the chorus radiates a pure feeling of love and Christmas spirit. The understated sonic style brings a 60s feel to the track while Willie’s vocals are full of warmth. The addition of the school choir brings that common Christmas trope to tie it all together and make a modern classic!
The perfect song for: Unwrapping presents with the family
Deco - Christmas Is Calling
Given Deco’s love for 80’s Synth Pop, you may think that they are the perfect band to create a Christmas banger…and you’d be right! They tap into the Wham! aesthetic with this joyful original. The song’s powerful echoed drum sounds and infectious vocal melodies bring a huge atmosphere while the retro synths transport you into a Top of the Pops era. The saxophone lines that brighten the backdrop add a final layer of party atmosphere and top off a fantastically uplifting Christmas number
The perfect song for: Cracking open the first bottle of bubbly
Lexie Carroll - Christmas Day
In complete contrast to Deco’s banger, Lexie Carroll uses the sheer beauty of her delicate voice to create a hugely emotive, intimate acoustic single. As she rolls through memories of her early Christmas’ , you will find yourself reminiscing on all your Christmas’ past, both good and bad. Her vocals take centre stage and showcase the raw emotion and introspective nature of her songwriting. This may tug at the heartstrings for some, but nevertheless it is undoubtedly one of the best Chrtistmas songs in recent times!
The perfect song for: Reminiscing about Christmas’ gone by
Circa Waves - Miss Christmas
Last but not least on our list is the bouncy festive single from Liverpool’s Indie giants Circa Waves. They combine more traditional Chritsmas instrumentals of synths and flutes with their trademark Indie guitar lines to add a dusting of winter wonderland over their feel-good sound. In similar style to Zuzu’s track, it tells a tale of worrying you are going to miss christmas and wake up with “no turkey” (not a peep show reference) “or presents”. Yet, it is revealed in the chorus that they made it back for Christmas and indulge in all the annual festivities. A fantastic track in its own right that manages to trigger thoughts of all the things we love most about Christmas!
The perfect song for: Listening to on Christmas Eve to get you excited for the main event
Come and hear all these tracks plus great live music at our Xmas party on December 20th at The Jacaranda! Tickets available here.