Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Music That's Not Christmas Music

'Tis the season for the same ole crappy holiday music that bombards us each year. Tripe like Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" invades our ear-brains over and over again.

But just because the typical Christmas jams are clunkier than a fruitcake, it doesn't mean I don't like to get my merry jolly on.

The solution? Re-purposing non-Chritmas tunes. I'm a sucker for seasonalizing my music listening anyway, and you always hear people talking about summer music. Well, the same can be said of winter music and more specifically Christmas music.

Here are some artists and albums that get me into the Holiday spirit even if the content is decidedly non-Christmas.

The Concretes - The Concretes
Although they're better known as a "summery pop" band, this album is perfect for the cold, snowy months. Same can be said for other bands of the Belle & Sebastian/Phil Spector variety.

"Warm Night"

Sigur Ros - ()
Doesn't carry the Christmas music hallmarks of quirky and cozy, but if you're looking for an epic soundtrack to your Christmas vacation on the slopes, look no further.

"Untitled 3"

Bjork - Vespertine
Seems the best non-Christmas Christmas music is made in Iceland and Scandinavia. And the queen of Nordic charms is no exception.


Fiery Furnaces - Gallowbird's Bark
Fiery Furnaces' debut album is their most direct and tuneful. And I'm a bit unsure why I think this sounds Christmas-ish, but if you want to get literal about it, there's a song called "Up in the North".

The Stills - Logic Will Break Your Heart
Melancholy and sentimentalism, that's what Christmas is all about, right?

"Of Montreal"

Stornoway - Beachcomber's Windowsill
Stornoway's pastoral folk is perhaps the perfect soundtrack for a car trip to the tree lot or to cure the blues after a trip to the shopping mall.


Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
This would probably play better at your more raucous Christmas party. Once the Santa hats come off and the egg nog starts flowing (that's not sexual innuendo, promise).

"Floating in the Forth"

Wild Beasts - Limbo, Panto
Nothing like theatrical avant-pop to get you primed for the 25th. Maybe it's because it sounds a bit "churchy".

"The Devil's Crayon"

And if you're still looking for something a little more traditional, but want to say bah humbug to the humdrum, check out Toronto record store Soundscapes, which has a fantastic guide to some diamonds in the rough.

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