Kristin Kontrol - Last Christmas

Kristin Kontrol “Last Christmas” (2013/2016)

Self Released
Buy: Stream on Soundcloud | Download

I first came across this synth-heavy (not that the original wasn’t) version of “Last Christmas” via Kurt Feldman, the producer of this track and the driving force behind the equally synth-heavy Ice Choir. Of course, I grabbed it and filed it away. Jump-cut to this past week, as I began to get back in the swing of things, and I came across the Minneapolis-based blog WeHeartMusic (who also did the great graphic above), and their feature about this song (including a download!). Kristin Kontrol (AKA Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls) recorded this classic Wham! song back in 2013 as a sort of a b-side to the spectacular Dum Dum Girls’ “On Christmas.” At the time they weren’t allowed to release it, but after the death of George Michael, KK said:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

(Here is a twitter moment that I’ve created showing the progression of tweets – including the reference to “On Christmas” being proto-KK”)

Thus, we have this cool, very Kurt Feldman + Kristin Kontrol version of “Last Christmas.”The beats are slightly amped up throughout the song, and it gives a perfect pacing to a song that I sometimes find just a hair slow. My favorite part about this track comes in at around 3:20, when they bring in these subtle little bits of percussion; They sound like synth bongos or something of the sort. Spot on KK & KF.

Bottom Line: Truly a killer version of THE Christmas pop song of the 80s.

LISTEN

Gotta go to Soundcloud for this. They won’t let me embed it!

 

Ice Choir - Pure Holiday

Ice Choir – Pure Holiday (2014)

Cascine
Buy: 7″ – Norman (UK) – Saki (US) – Juno (UK) – Amazon UK | Boomkat FLAC

This is the kind of stuff I love – thanks Stubby. Ice Choir, with their shimmering 80s sound, offer up two Christmas tunes that live in another world. This synth Christmas gem will make all your friends wonder “Who the hell is this?” as they rattle off “Tears for Fears!” or “Spandau Ballet!” You shall cooly say, Ice Choir of course. Fronted by Kurt Feldman, former frontman of the Depreciation Guild and current drummer for the always-excellent Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Ice Choir has taken the sounds of yesteryear, mashed it up with a bit of modern chillwave, and created a 7″ whose digital bliss will take you away to a Christmas of big hair, bright colors, and Club Med.

Bottom Line: Not 100% how it’ll fit on my mix, if it will at all. But I really appreciate how great & how different it sounds than most everything out there this year. 4.7/5

LISTEN