Moshi Moshi Records
Buy: Moshi Moshi | Bandcamp
Legends of Country/Boy Least Likely To impresario Jof Owen and Girl Ray‘s Poppy are both no strangers to fantastic Christmas tunes, so of course they decided to record one together!! I most certainly enjoy the way they describe it:
From Moshi Moshi:
Sweet and impossibly romantic, with a little nod to Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett and a cheeky wink to Nancy And Lee, the Christmas Stick is a misty eyed slacker pop masterpiece. It retells the story of a chance encounter on a lonely winter night between two strangers whose eyes meet across a bustling broadway before they’re both struck by a mysterious festive talisman and end up spending the rest of the holidays together and writing a Christmas love song all about it.
Bottom Line: This thing is silly and sweet.
Buy: 7″ Vinyl + MP3/AIFF | Bandcamp
The wonderful London band Girl Ray has lined up yet another Christmas song for our ear-holes. Last year’s “Christmas Wrapping” was a solid, very faithful cover of the original. This year has them throwing an original our way – “(I Wish I Were Giving You a Gift) This Christmas” is a solid piece of twee longing. Throw in some bonus saxophone, which I’m a sucker for when used tastefully, and the song comes together nicely. The B-side of the limited edition 7″ looks to be a cover of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” which is a nice song, but certainly not one of my favorites. When it’s Girl Ray, who put out a great record earlier this year (which I own), I’ll certainly take anything they want to dish out.
Bottom Line: Solid, longing indiepop for those who dig that kind of stuff (like me).
Buy: Bandcamp | Moshi Moshi (MP3/LP) | iTunes UK | Amazon.UK (LP) | Amazon.DE (LP)
Welsh artist Sweet Baboo is no stranger to Christmas tunes, having appeared on Bubblewrap Collective’s 12 Days of Christmas in 2009. I dug that track, but not nearly as much as this BEAUTY. To be officially released in February on the Dennis EP (named after Dennis Wilson no doubt), Sweet Baboo channels the best parts of the Beach Boys (the Wilsons) and lets us know that even Santa needs someone to call. The ending brings resounding joy in a wall of sound. Everyone needs someone to love.
Bottom Line: I think I’ve listened to this song about 15 times today.
For one day only, available as a free download here. Still free.. now via Bandcamp. 5/5
Moshi Moshi / Little Teddy
Buy: Discogs (CD/LP) | 7Digital MP3 | iTunes
Every so often, I strike gold and pull out a double, as in I love the Christmas song and also find that I love the band. The Wave Pictures are indeed one of those true finds, that hooks me in the xmas and reels me in for the rest of their catalog. Their 2008 release, Instant Coffee Baby, contains “I Love You Like a Madman,” one of the most interesting and enjoyable Christmas songs I have ever experienced. Their style is as if Jonathan Richman had listened to a good bit of Dexys Midnight Runners while reading Raymond Carver stories (I am stretching here… I can’t find the perfect combo). The chorus begins with “The air in here is dead / But we’re not finished yet / Throw the back door open / Let me see your breath.” Its this kind of simple, visceral visual that I find in Evan Dando at his best and David Berman at his most poignant, and is indeed, a large part of why I love music.
Bottom Line: Like a weird short story that you can’t help but see yourself in. 5/5