The Alternative Christmas Playlist

Twas the night before Christmas, and you’re on the verge of strangling yourself with tinsel because you’ve heard The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ 7623867 times on the radio already. If this sounds like you, then look no further. Your local music nerds at the Music section racked their heads together over some mulled wine and mince pies, and complied YOU a playlist of the best alternative Christmas tunes out there to help you soundtrack your Christmas in style this year.

Mac Demarco – White Christma$

First on the list we’ve got everyone’s favourite loveable rogue, Mac Demarco. Mac’s swapped his normal oil-stained cap for a Santa hat in this very chilled out cover of White Christmas (or, ‘White Christma$’ as he calls it, reminding us all of the little capitalist pigs rubbing their fingers together at the back of Santa’s grotto). A perfect song to put on when you’ve eaten ten times your body weight in mince pies and the only thing you want to do is collapse onto the sofa.

Peace – Christmas Advert 2013

In 2013, B-Town babes Peace dropped this cover of ‘Last Christmas’ unexpectedly via Twitter. Renaming it ‘Christmas Advert 2013’, the band took the responsibility of reminding the nation of the existence of this little known holiday in an increasingly secular age. This cover sees Harrison and the guys take on Christmas in the only way they know how to: with turtle necks, over the top passion and a hell of a lot of fun.

Lucy Rose & Rae Morris – Merry Christmas Everyone

Christmas is all about community, and this is exactly what Lucy Rose and Rae Morris show us in this beautiful acoustic rendition of ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’. If John Lewis are still looking for a song to soundtrack their infamous Christmas advert this year, then they need not look any further.

Jake Bugg – Happy Christmas (War is Over)

There are many great mysteries in the universe: has Jake Bugg ever smiled? Is the young singer/songwriter capable of enthused emotions? God bless his little Christmas socks. If Jake Bugg was ever going to cover a Christmas song, it was always going to be John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’, featuring the highly uplifting opening lyric of “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?”; he even mashes it up with Lennon’s ‘Working Class Hero’ to remind us that, he too is a working class hero! You almost got into the Christmas spirit Jake, almost.

The Big Moon – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The girls in Big Moon offer themselves up as our very own (alternative) Christmas angels. Bringing a much needed flurry of heavy guitar lines to the classic Christmas tune, Big Moon show us why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year (and why Christmas music is the most wonderful out there as well, obviously).

The Futureheads – Christmas Was Better in the 80s

The Futureheads articulate what we’re all secretly thinking: everything was better in the 80s. The hair. The music. The Fashion. Britain was still in what was to later be re-named the European Union. Ah, the 80s. (Disclaimer: let’s forget about the threat of nuclear war, Reagan, Thatcher, the sexism, the homophobia and so forth in our romantisation of the decade that brought us the likes of ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’ and ‘Take On Me’ for a second here).

Julian Casablancas – I Wish it Was Christmas Today

Julian Casablancas brings us his usual Strokes’ energy to the Christmas song market with ‘I Wish It Was Christmas Today’. With similar roaring guitar lines to The Strokes’ ‘One Way Trigger’, Casablancas captures that desperate yearning for Christmas we all used to have as kids or, if you’re like me, still experience today.

Peace – All I want for Christmas is You / Creep (yes, the Radiohead song)

Peace have attempted to cover all aspects of Christmas over the years with their various Christmas covers. The band take the normally joyous words of Mariah Carey and give them an, urm, unusual twist; rather than the normal array of bells and chimes so iconic in the original, Peace transform the song into the anthem of the Christmas Creeps by playing the chords of perhaps one of the most depressing Radiohead songs ever written, ‘Creep’. The band give a voice to all the humbugs out there, all the Scrooges who are looking bitterly at photos of their beloved crying angstly into the void about their broken heart. Fun !

LCD Soundsystem – Christmas Will Break You Heart

Keepin’ up with this whole ‘alternative Christmas song is synonymous for being tired, weathered and depressed’ theme, this one’s for all our Srooges out there feeling low this holiday, this one’s for you x

Editors’ Pick – The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

If you haven’t heard The Killers’ ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’ (or, in fact, any of the band’s original Christmas songs from their Christmas EP Red), then wtf have you been for the past few years. A song which depicts the life of a tortured and teased bully begging Santa to spare him from being ‘shot’, this song really embraces the true message of Christmas: that’s right, no guns at the Christmas table folks. A modern masterpiece which deserve to be up there with the greatest (and played-to-death) Christmas songs.

Want to see what other Alternative Christmas tunes we have on our headphones this holiday? Well then, have a look at out Spotify Playlist for the full list to help protect yourself from the deadly Christmas disease, Death-by-Wham.

Juliette Rowsell

(Image: Boutiqued DJs)

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