Christmas songs get very dull, very quickly. We all know that if you aren’t tired of Slade or Shakin’ Stevens then there’s something not quite right. That’s why we have taken it upon ourselves to bring you the best gift of them all. We’re emptying our sacks to bring you more joy than Baby Jesus ever could, in the form of some top quality jams for Christmas past and present (but sadly not the future). Behold our essential, alternative Christmas playlist for those who are as bored of Mariah as we are.

Kate BushMisty

Technically, it may not be a Christmas song, but Kate Bush‘s 50 Words For Snow LP may be the closest thing you’ll get to a festive album from the First Lady of obscurity. Here, however, Bush ups the weirdness entirely with the resulting down-tempo piano ballad clocking in at a grand total of 13 and a half minutes. Lyrically, nothing screams MERRY CHRIMBO more than the tale of a girls hand-built snowman coming alive and the pair bonking, only for the girl to wake up to find her frosty fuck has melted away and left her with wet bed sheets. That’s exactly what this quarter-hour track quite vividly describes. An essential for those family-round-the-fireplace moments. Bill Baker



Julian CasablancasI Wish It Was Christmas Today

Jesus Christ isn’t the only JC bringing Chirstmas spirit and joy to all at this time of year. Enter: Julian Casablancas. The Strokes frontman and modern day rock n roll hero originally recorded this track for Saturday Night Live in the US, but it has since become a staple in my Chirstmas playlist. It was even performed at Coachella – which happens in April – when he played there in 2010. Casablancas playfully croons: “All I know is that Santa Claus don’t care about breaking no fire doors” on a bed of frenzied percussion and quintessential Christmas jingle bells, making the track one of my festive favourites. Shannon Cotton


The Killers ft. DawesChristmas in L.A

It’s Christmas time, everyone’s favourite annual event of the year which they either love to love or love to hate. Around this time of year though another annual event takes place and that comes in the form of The Killer’s and their Christmas songs. For the past 10 years, Brandon Flowers and co. have released a Christmas song with all proceeds going to charities, a win win for everyone. The one I have chosen is Christmas In LA, a heartbreaking guitar driven track that focuses on a man that moved to LA in order to make it big, but finds it hard spending another Christmas alone away from family and the girl he left behind. It’s bittersweet as it sounds so chirpy but it’s so heartfelt at the same time. The video perfectly captures this narrative as well and it also stars Owen Wilson, it’s a joy all round. Connor Spilsbury-Brown


The Crookes – It’s Just Not Christmas Without You

It’s Just Not Christmas Without You written by The Crookes is one for those cold night’s. It’s not your typical jingle. Instead of rocking round the Christmas tree it conveys mending a broken heart next to a frosty window. The lyrics convince you that you should be with your loved one whether you have one or not. It has the echoes of 60s heartbreak song with the deep beats of a bass and the grace of a clean cut guitar mixed with a humming of church bells. The overall sense of the song creates the feeling when your hand’s freeze in the snow and you’d do anything to warm up with you ex or current loved one. Forget Christmas cheer and have a Christmas tear. Sam Rees


Carly Rae JepsenLast Christmas (Wham! Cover)

Jepo has only gone and topped off her rather large year with a rendition of that Xmas song you’d rather not have to hear again. Switching up Wham!‘s Last Christmas into an upbeat, sax-filled bop proves that the dull can be transformed into fun quite effortlessly, with Ms Jepsen rounding off 2015 in the glittery, festive fashion that we’d expect from her. Bill Baker


PeaceLast Christmas (Wham! Cover)

Christmas is a time of year for friends, family and food, and of course, indie babes. A couple of years ago Birmingham’s finest Peace took on Wham!’s Last Christmas to advertise their winter tour and it has since immortalised itself as one of my favourite Christmas covers. From lead singer Harrison Koisser writhing around like a festive slow worm with a tambourine on their studio floor to drummer Dominic Boyce’s questionable backing vocals and even more questionable Christmas jumper, these B-Town boys have never been ones to shy away from a bit of good old fashioned festive fun. Shannon Cotton 


ColdplayChristmas Lights

With the release of their 7th studio album happening as we speak, it only seemed right to bring it back a few years and bring up the oh-so-joyful sounds of Coldplay. Infamous for their reputation of being hated by many, you can’t deny that they do occasionally have that track that comes by that you just can’t help but fall in love with and this is definitely the case with their christmas song titled Christmas Lights. The track is your typical Coldplay piano ballad, which eases into a guitar as soon as the second verse hits, however the thing that makes this song so perfect for Christmas is the pure festive feel that the final offering of the song gives to the listener. The topic of the song at the start focuses on a break up as well as “it doesn’t even feel like Christmas at all”, however you just look past it when you realise that the instrumental that carried the track really embodies that warm happy feeling that is Christmas time. Connor Spilsbury Brown


Hurts – All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day 

Christmas is a time for celebrating life with your family/friends/significant other/pet, and for some, it’s amazing. For others, though, it’s shit, and you just want it to be over with. Thankfully, New Year’s is aaaall about new beginnings – you know you’re still going to to make resolutions even if you know they don’t work, ever – (though maybe 2016 is the year you actually show up for your yoga classes, you never know, eh?). Adam and Theo just really wanted to be done with 2010 at the time, though. All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day is festive yet sorrowful in a very weird but very pleasant way, and honestly, the video’s just something else – you know you want to watch Adam mourn in a snowy cemetery while wearing a burgundy vest. Jillian Blandenier

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