Instant Playlist - December 15 2011
“Real Snow” (Fence)
With its mournful string arrangement and sad-sack lyrics, this is the perfect late-December song for anyone who would rather walk on burning yule logs than hear yet another rendition of “Jingle Bells”.
“Christmas Don’t Be Late”(Captured Tracks)
Speaking of sad sacks, Catwalk’s Nick Hessler mopes his way through this seasonal favourite (which is also known as “The Chipmunk Song”) sounding as if he’s already resigned himself to the fact that Christmas will indeed be late.
“Slashed Wrists This Christmas” (Ovni)
Oh, man. This week’s Instant Playlist is turning out to be a real fucking downer, isn’t it? Sorry about that. This story-song about a suicidal manic-depressive is actually quite lovely, but maybe “Jingle Bells” would be a better dinner-party selection after all.
Bradley Wik and the Charlatans
“Midwest Winters” (Independent)
Okay, this is more like it. Alt-country up-and-comer Bradley Wik delivers a heartfelt tribute to the crystalline, snow-dusted majesty of… Wait, did he really just say “Those Midwest winters will suck your soul away”?
“The Song the Season Brings” (Independent)
Now, this is nice! A lush folk-orchestra sound, replete with violin, banjo, and trumpet, and lyrics about love. Presumably, there are no hidden messages about how love is ultimately futile because we’re all going to die in 2012 anyway.
The Singing Mechanic
“Christmas Is Coming”(Sounds Familyre)
Bedroom pop that gets all nostalgic and wistful and only brings tears to our eyes because we’re sentimental saps and remember Christmases past as the best moments of our lives, even if what they really were was one rum-fuelled shit show after another.
“The First Noel” (Merge)
Speaking of great moments, you know how your loudmouth Uncle Carl insists all you need is a carpenter’s saw to cut down a 10-foot Scotch pine? Julian Koster shows that all you need is the same tool to make the most miserable of Christmas cranks cry.
“Do You Hear What I Hear” (Independent)
Be a dear and throw some ice, pink grapefruit, and Grey Goose vodka into a shaker. Great. Do you hear what I hear? Namely, an Xmas classic given a classy retro spin.
“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” (Warner)
Damn straight it is—and, even better, Christmas at a time when men wore hats and smoked cigars, and liquor was actually good for you. Let’s have another martini, dry this time if you don’t mind.
Michel Legrand With Iggy Pop
“The Little Drummer Boy” (Universal)
Now that we’ve got a couple of shots under our belt, let’s really get this party started. Forget booze, it’s time to batter our brains with the hard stuff—and who better to steer us toward nirvana than Iggy Pop, turning in a string-drenched tribute to Dave Grohl?
She & Him
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (Merge)
It’s come to this: we’re hammered and in the mood to let this wonderful, wonderful winter night go where it will. She & Him have the right suggestion, namely that there’s no sense venturing outdoors when we can both gear down, blissfully bombed, in front of the fire.