The Marías “We’re the Lucky Ones” (2020)

Superclean Records
7Digital (FLAC/MP3) | Apple Music | Amazon MP3 | MP3 | MP3 | MP3

Want to know a dirty secret about Christmas Underground? This site was meant to not only share music with you all, but also so that you all would give ME tips for new Christmas songs. Thank you @demhahavgc!

Readers of this blog may also remember that earlier in the year, I was wrestling with whether this silly blog was a welcome distraction or a frivolous endeavor. Our society was fraying at the seams (still is), and writing about Christmas music felt insensitive and frankly, a bit daft at the time. Somehow, I found a way out, and here we are. I still haven’t truly answered my question about the worth of this pursuit, but some beautiful notes from a number of you have certainly helped my journey back.

After that brief (not) intro, lets get back to the reason we all are here -> LA-based jazz/psych-influenced indie pop band The Marías have just released a beautiful one-off Christmas single, with a sentiment that I really identify with (see above – there had to be a reason I was blabbering on so much!).

we’re releasing a new song tonight, the last release of the year. this one holds the most special place in our hearts. ⁣

Someone on our team asked if we’d ever write a christmas song, and although we were never opposed to it, the thought of writing a christmas song this year honestly made me really sad. ⁣⁣

hundreds of thousands of lives were lost this year in the u.s. alone that won’t make it to christmas, and their families will have an empty seat at the table. i truly feel lucky to be alive. ⁣⁣

as we begin to plan for and celebrate this holiday season, let’s light a candle and reflect on the many, many lives that were lost. and let’s all be grateful for something as simple as a beating heart. we’re the lucky ones. ⁣

this is our christmas song for this year.

The Marías (Facebook, October 28, 2020)

The Marías are in the same headspace as a lot of us this year, dragging a mixture of sadness, love and survivor’s guilt into the holiday season. They do so with this stripped-back beauty that showcases the emotion of lead singer María Zardoya’s voice. I had to live with this a few days before writing about it… the emotion of the lyrics and the sentiment behind the creation had me reflecting on all those complicated feelings I had earlier in the year, as well as the anxieties of this week… and how that might further color the upcoming holiday season. It did bring me some peace… I hope it brings you some too.

Bottom Line: A truly beautiful song for a fraught time.


School Damage “Xmas Song” (2018)

Chapter Music
Buy: Bandcamp

Melbourne’s School Damage reside in what I would call Christmas Underground’s sweet spot – DIY, underground indie pop. Thus, you might have thought I would have been all over this record from the start! However, it is thanks to the ever-amazing No Love for Ned, that I am now well hipped to both their fantastic new record, A to X, and also to the fact that there is a Christmas song on it! School Damage’s angle into a holiday song is to write a song that is not necessarily about Christmas, which immediately piqued my interest. Musically, it is quite sparse, largely comprised of a pulsing beat, with the only real hint of Christmas contained in the simple melody that bookends the song. Despite not being Christmas-specific, it is the lyrics and the sentiment of the song that make “Xmas Song” a noteworthy addition to your holiday season. An interesting mixture of nostalgia (“Riding down your old street / the years pile up”), stark reality (“And it can be hard. / It will probably get worse.”), and hope (“And you will get through / the black and the blue, / the thick and the thin, / the losses and wins – / everything”), the track creates a sense of realism not found in many Christmas songs. After a year of tough losses, I found the voice of support and friendship in this song to be quite powerful.

I hear the fear in your voice. / I know that you are feeling disappointed. / Don’t let your heart sink / or worry about what they’ll think. / Don’t try to hide / your fire inside.

Riding down your old street, / the years pile up. / We don’t have to always agree, / by your side I will stay / even when I seem far away. / Don’t try to hide / your fire inside.

And it can be hard. / It will probably get worse. / It will happen again, / but it’s not the end – / nothing time cannot mend. / And you will get through / the black and the blue, / the thick and the thin, / the losses and wins – / everything.

Bottom Line: Raw and emotional indie pop from down under.


Pre Nup “War, On Christmas” (2018)

Pre Nup - Oh Well

Jigsaw/Debt Offensive Records
Buy: US-Jigsaw (CD) | Canada-Debt Offensive Records (CD)

“We’re doomed for sure. / Apocalypse creeps closer every year. / Keep this in mind, / we’re all fucked. / At least it’s Christmas time.”


Here is Calgary’s finest with a FUCKING AMAZING indie pop jam that I cannot get out my head. Pre Nup come out swinging with fuzzed-out perfection, while name checking the illuminati, pretending the chemtrails are Santa’s sleigh, and highlighting a government plot to foment carnage. You know, the perfect appetizer to the oncoming meltdown Christmas season.

Bottom Line: Sharpen your knives, this Christmas feast is going to be bloody. Pre Nup have thrown down the Christmas gauntlet, and bloodied a few noses in the process. (Heads up, this song is a hidden track on the CD version of their debut LP, Oh Well.)