. . . for those who’d rather shove pencils through their own eardrums than listen to any more carols.
By David Hair, author of The Moontide Quartet. David will be enjoying Christmas with family at home in the summer heat of the Antipodes, drinking cold beers and cooking up a storm on the barbeque.
1) December will be Magic, by Kate Bush.
Beautiful, whimsical and moving, always makes me wish I was in the northern hemisphere for Christmas. Snow is at its best when viewed on Christmas cards while sipping beer, in the sun, on a sandy Pacific beach, I’ve always thought.
2) Christmas Valley, by The Walkabouts
The world’s most criminally underrated band do festive melancholy as they do everything: perfectly. A lovely Carla Torgerson vocal gently unfolds while the world turns white, and sad people drink to forget the rest of their year. “Sister says in Lewiston, three rivers come to meet; she’ll get us jobs in a restaurant, we can stagger home each night.” Christmas is for family.
3) Joy, by Tracey Thorn
“You loved it as a kid, and now you need it more than you ever did. It’s because of the dark; we see the beauty in the spark”. The words are lovely and reflective, and it’s EBTG’s Tracey singing them! What more could you want?
4) The Fairytale of New York, by the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
Yes, it’s been horribly overplayed and scarcely counts as alternative anymore, but it’s also one of the greatest Christmas themed songs EVER. When Kirsty and Shane start trading abuse halfway through, it’s riotous and joyous and makes you want to stand on your table and belt it out while spilling Guinness over your mates.
5) Christmas Reindeer, by The Knife
Hurrah for playful, obtuse and slightly sinister Christmas-themed Scandi-electronica! Play it loud and confuse your relatives!
6) Unwrap Me, by Saint Etienne
Flirty, cheeky and funny, complete with Sarah Cracknell’s trademark breathy vocals and even a talky bit, for that complete pseudo-70s vibe! If songs were wine, this would be Babycham.
7) I want an Alien this Christmas, by Fountains of Wayne
Because who wouldn’t? The song has just the right mix of kitschy fun for the festive season.
8) Christmas was better in the Eighties, by The Futureheads
Yes it was! And this song is bonkers, like four or five different songs thrown into the mixing bowl, laced with brandy and set alight.
Merry Christmas from New Zealand!
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the #JFBChristmasAdvent on Twitter @JoFletcherBooks and here, where there will be plenty more competitions, author posts, short stories and wish lists to work your way through this Christmas season.