The Just Joans – The Just Joans’ Seasonal Greet (2010/2016)

WeePOP! Records
Buy: Bandcamp (NYOP)

Way back in 2010, the wonderful Scottish band The Just Joans released The Just Joans’ Seasonal Greet, a limited mini CDr Christmas EP, on the wonderfully-titled WeePOP! Records. And it looks like just about every holiday season, they would pop a track out here or there, released on Soundcloud or as a live recording on Youtube. However, it appears that in December 2016, the whole EP became readily-available again via their Bandcamp page! This is a wonderful turn of events, as there are some excellent tunes on here for those who like a melancholy, slow-tempo Christmas. “Card from a Multipack” is (for me) the strongest of the bunch, as the approach is interesting and the delivery feels genuine – there is some pain in this track. My second favorite would be the vaguely indie-folk rendition of the classic “Last Christmas,” where their Scottish brogue and gently strummed banjo give this stale song a fresh feel. Certainly worth your time and money.

Bottom Line: The Just Joans are due for another Christmas EP… just throwing it out there 🙂 But until they do, I’m happy to have “Seasonal Greet” to tide me over.

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Marble Gods “I Remember Xmas” (2016)

Self Released
Buy: Bandcamp

Scottish popsters Marble Gods somehow snuck a sweet little indiepop Christmas tune by me last year… and if I ever find out how, there will be hell to pay! They even have it tagged properly! “I Remember Xmas” is a lovely, jangly little indiepop song that is right up my alley. Upbeat guitars with a dash of melancholy in the lyrics… the perfect indiepop blend for your anorak Christmas. “Driving home I remember Christmas / when we were young. / We thought would last forever. / Oh how we were wrong / So it’s Christmas time, / and you’re everything I want. / But my only fear / is that you will break my heart.” Beautiful!

Bottom Line: Marble Gods’ “I Remember Xmas” is some finely chiseled, indiepop perfection.

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Broken Records Christmas

Broken Records “My Beer Drunk Soul is Sadder Than All the Dead Christmas Trees in the World” (2014)

Self Released
Buy: Free!

It is a day of Scots I tell ya! Edinburgh’s Broken Records have recorded an original tune to be (no doubt) played at the Christmas Songwriters’ Club concert in Edinburgh on December 20th. I hope that all the participants release their songs – that would be amazing!! When I saw the title, I thought it might be a Joy Formidable cover, but it does appear to be a straight-up original. I love the swelling brass, the driving beat, and this vocalist is f*ing fantastic. Listen, listen, LISTEN (to both this song, and their others too. Just let the Soundcloud feed rolllllll).

Bottom Line: This is a rock solid addition to my mix in 2015, and top ten I’ve heard this year no doubt. 5/5

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Nieves Christmas

Nieves “Cure (Christmas Song)” (2014)

Self Released
Buy: Free!

I love a good Scottish brogue in my Christmas songs, as those who may have ever listened to a mix of mine, or listened to my non-Christmas music collection. Nieves already had a leg up coming into this, hailing from Glasgow, and then I heard their song. It begins with, “There is no Christmas / There are no bells,” and continues from there. “What have we to be grateful for? / This year has been a bastard / 12 months, crawling on the floor.” This shit is DARK. And of course, I love it.

Bottom Line: Scottish, dark and free. 4.7/5

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