Thursday, December 18, 2008

O come let us adore them

One week to go, and there's plenty of newly updated Christmas songs being knocked up in rehearsal rooms and back bedrooms to go through. Don't forget, of course, about our own four volume A Very Sweeping Christmas.

In Myspace and profile terms - and Myspace profile terms, actually - the biggest hitters are The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. All I want For Christmas (not that one) features Karen cooing as best she can over jingle bells, shivery Nick Zinner guitar and some lovely "fa-la-la-la-la"ing. Camera Obscura's cover of Gene Autry's You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven features distant steel guitar, insistent piano and what seems to be a jingle bell loop plus a particularly yearning Tracyanne Campbell vocal. Fellow travellers The School's airy girl group effort Kiss You In The Snow, which eked out as a limited edition 7" this time last year, has been uploaded for the first time. The Boy Least Likely To finally return in March, ahead of which comes the liltingly wistful acoustic regret of The First Snowflake.

Glam Chops are Eddie Argos, Mikey 'The Vessel out of David Devant And His Spirit Wife' Georgeson, the bloke behind Guided Missile Records, the bloke behind Bath's famed Purr club night, a couple of other people and Purr's celebrated Panthergirls dance troupe. They kick off their attempt to revive proper glam with makeup and Flying Vs and everything with two Christmas songs, Countdown To Christmas and Baby Jesus Was The First Glam Rocker. Click to listen, then download if you so desire. Obviously somewhat less decadent is El Perro Del Mar's minimal reading of Auld Lang Syne (direct Pitchfork mp3 link), which as usual for Sarah Assbring runs a path between playful retro-classicism and heartbreaking fragility. Brighton's restlessly melancholic lo-fi Casio indiepop trio Foxes!, who were working with Restlesslist last we heard, have uploaded to last.fm a song entitled Christmas Songs plus four, um, Christmas songs.

Where It's At Is Where You Are Records' roster and friends, including The Middle Ones, Eux Autres and 'Allo Darlin', have recorded six festive covers between them; just two grace Need No Water Records' Kick The Plug page, but one is by Kat Flint. Skatterbrain! has put together a typically jangly Christmas compilation (the Lucksmiths, The Raveonettes, The Aislers Set, Thee Headcoatees) If you like that, you'll like Snow Keeps Falling by The Soft City, a New York outfit featuring a former Comet Gain/Velocette-r. They sent us the mp3, but Coast Is Clear got to post it first. While we're dealing with foreign language blogs, Italians Polaroid has asked its friends and favourites to contribute festive songs, and alongside bands called Bassoon's Ex-Lovers and The Calorifer Is Very Hot! you'll find festive reworkings of Velvets, the Wave Pictures (not for the fainthearted, that one) and Good Shoes songs and a contribution from A Classic Education frontman Jonathan Clancy's solo project His Clancyness.

And then there's the glorious MJ Hibbett and the Validators' The Advent Calendar Of FACT, available to download now or watch here:



It was grown for the charity Movember thing, apparently.

And for more festive frolics... Maps Magazine has an advent calendar of song running, with free downloads from many a STN favourite, The Lucksmiths, Pagan Wanderer Lu, the aforementioned MJ Hibbett, Carter USM, The Victorian English Gentlemens Club covering PJ Harvey, Chris T-T covering AA Milne, Piney Gir, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The Long Blondes (yes, Christmas Is Cancelled), Joy Of Sex and Copy Haho inclusive. This Is Fake DIY's selection is more variable but does include Sky Larkin singing We Three Kings in a cupboard, Let's Wrestle laying waste to Just Like Christmas, Slow Club doing their Christmas song acoustically and Dananananaykroyd... well, Dananananaykroyd.

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