Aquatic Slime “Winter” (2014/2015)


Self Released
Buy: Soundcloud

Aquatic Slime have awoke from their winter slumber… and released all the Christmas tracks they’ve had piling up since 2006! There is even this curious track… which they abandoned because it was deemed “too slow/terrible drums.” Well… lets think about this. I do not agree with it being too slow; It’s slower track, but Aquatic Slime have great instincts, and it works quite well. I’ve come to expect a certain sound from Aquatic Slime, and had someone played this track, with the plinking electronic flourishes, organ synths and beautiful female vocals, I probably would have been able to peg it. Granted, there is something that happened in the drums/production that appears to have caused some clipping, but fix that, and you’ve got a winner.

I look forward to checking out all the other tracks that Aquatic Slime dropped too! Some intriguing titles too: “A Rave in a Manger,” “God Rest Ye Badass Gentlemen” – Awesome!

Bottom Line: I hear ya Aquatic Slime, and I understand why you did what you did… but throw a new coat of paint on this baby and you’ve got a new car!




Sleep Thieves “November Christmas” (2014)

Sleep Thieves "November Christmas"

Self Released
Buy: Bandcamp

I’m sure you’re going to see this track pop up a few more places, as it already has on Stubby’s Free List earlier this morning – so why not here too? Dublin’s Sleep Thieves have created a great, moody, synth Christmas song with their new track, “November Christmas.” The song’s verses trudge along with a deep synth bass, a flutter of melody and a beat you could set your watch to. So, when the tone lifts and the chorus swings in, it pushes you up just enough to pop your head above the water. It really is a great chorus, and worth the wait. Certainly a nice change of pace from the jingle bells that infiltrate most of the season. I would be fawning all over this track if it was just a tad bit more upbeat like their wonderful track “City of Hearts.”

Bottom Line: A dark electro Christmas song and done dark electro well. OH… and free. 3.8/5


Lapland “Maybe on Christmas” (2014)


Self Released
Buy: Stream

Lapland, the moniker of Brooklyn singer/songwriter Josh Mease, just released a nice indiepop “original song hastily recorded” today, and I rather dig it. Synths flutter as a flickering flame as Mease sings about staying safe & sound by the fire on Christmas – in a tone that I’d equate to a Mark Mothersbaugh-scored scene in Life Aquatic. So, turn off your “Switched on Santa” and give this modern-synth Christmas a spin.

Bottom Line: Certainly growing on me – would love to have an actual download of it somewhere. 3.9/5


Ice Choir – Pure Holiday (2014)

Ice Choir - Pure Holiday

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