Alternative Christmas playlist

For those of you spending the festive season thousands of miles away from family, these are for you

10 Glasvegas, A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)
From the real Phil Spector to Scottish Spector copyists. Glasvegas’ moment in the sun was brief, but when they were hot, they recorded a icily bleak Christmas EP.

9 Lindsay Buckingham, Holiday Road
Not as ‘indie’ as the others on this list, we’ll give you that. But it’s from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and we wanted to mention Chevy Chase somewhere in this issue.

8 Julian Casablancas, I Wish It Was Christmas Today
The leather-clad Strokes singer stops the cool posturing for three minutes 20 seconds to unleash his inner kid. He clearly loves Christmas, but still sounds like he’s half asleep.

7 The Shins, Wonderful Christmastime
James Mercer’s indie troupe take on Macca’s Christmas standard and do very little new to it. Wonderful.

6 Sufjan Stevens, Christmas In The Room
Stevens’ songs are usually dripping with ornate, dainty instrumentation, making his style perfect for Christmas songs. So he recorded ten albums of them.

5 The Futureheads, Christmas Was Better In The 80s
Some regional pride went into this choice, but also, it’s ace. Christmas WAS better in the 80s, because we got loads of toys. That doesn’t happen anymore.

4 Prince, Another Lonely Christmas
The Purple One goes all country crooner on this little-known Christmas weepie. Includes the lines, “Baby you promised you’d never leave, then you died on the 25th day of December”. Joy to the world.

3 Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Christmas Everyday
Picking up the tempo once more, Smokey gets grooving with this upbeat number. He loves Christmas, we love this song.

2 Low, Just Like Christmas
Famously quiet and frankly, a little bit miserable, cult indie favourites Low whip out the sleigh bells for this jaunty track, which isn’t about Christmas, at all in all honesty. But it just sounds like Christmas.

1 The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, Fairytale of New York
We know, everyone knows this one. But it really is alternative – a tale of despair, hope and ultimately love. Get past the occasional “novelty” use of coarse language and this is a fine song, and an excellent way to remember the late, great Kirsty MacColl.

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