And so this is Christmas, and what have we done? We've only gone and made you lovely people a playlist with all of our favourite festive tunes! Featuring a whole array of artists, from the classics, like Mariah, to the unexpected, in DMX, we hope this is the soundtrack to your wonderful Christmas time!
Follow our Singles of the Week here.
Sidrah Zubair, ‘Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer’ by DMX
Everyone loves Christmas (although shopping for presents is certified hell followed by a long, slow death in queues) but, most importantly, everyone loves Christmas music. Yes, we all love Mariah, we all sing our eggnog fuelled hearts out to Wham!, we even enjoy the cringey 80’s colourful aesthetic offered by Slade. What could simply be better than this? I’ll tell you—DMX having his own Christmas tune. Yes, the same DMX who made the (albeit sort of corny) banger ‘X Gon’ Giv It To Ya’, the same DMX arrested multiple times for a myriad of crimes, the same DMX who’s fathered 15 children. The tune starts off with sleigh bells before DMX’s signature hoarse tone asks us to recall the most famous reindeer of all. The song at only 1:36 minutes is disappointingly short, and, frankly, I would have loved to hear a cheeky little gangsta rap freestyle at the end; maybe how DMX managed to find Rudolph’s hoe and…well, you can guess the rest. Either way, this is a gift from the world of hip-hop and definitely one to play to all the extended family on Christmas Day.
EJ Oakley, ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ by Mariah Carey
It’s a classic, this one. You’d have heard it everywhere, from your local shopping mall to the rose-tinted scenes in everyone’s favourite Christmas romcom, Love Actually. Yet no one would blame you for resenting it. Christmas, today, stands for nothing much more than an over-commercialised holiday that families use as an excuse to cram you into the same room as your hateful racist uncle. Corporations jump on the deceptive bandwagon and use it as a reason to jack up prices on Christmas crackers and lower prices on all the other goods that didn’t sell well earlier in the year, knowing fully well that you’ll eat them up like… well, like Christmas candy. But why not have some actual fun this Christmas and listen to this song? Give in to Mariah Carey’s soprano and the sweet oblivion of having too many minced pies at once. It’s been a tough year. You deserve this one.
Brooklyn Jones, ‘This Christmas’ by Donny Hathaway
Simply said, this song is an absolute necessity to the holiday season. It’s got the cheer and charm of your classic Christmas song, with the added benefit of some gosh-darn-soul. Any half decent Christmas episode from any show uses this song (see: Blackish and Everybody Hates Chris). This song is just bursting with joy, cheer, and all things good, and it is totally perfect for imagining your own montage from the movie of your life. While the other Christmas tunes are crackers (geddit?!), this one is a bit unconventional and should absolutely be on your holiday playlist.
Clare Clarke, ‘Feliz Navidad’ by José Feliciano
‘Feliz Navidad’ is just such a feel good, inoffensive Christmas track, it has to be my favourite. Released in 1970, José Feliciano’s Latin pop song gets me with the chorus of “Feliz Navidad, próspero año y felicidad” and I can’t help but bob along. Like a Christmas ‘Despacito’ (pretty sure I’m insulting both there), its use of Spanish does not hinder my ability to belt the words. Simplistic it may be, but that doesn’t stop me from playing it on repeat. Plus, it has very few lyrics so you definitely won’t be able to mess up any drunken sing alongs. You’re welcome.
Freddie Metherell, ‘Little Saint Nick’ by The Beach Boys
With the release of ‘Little Saint Nick’ in 1963, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, created a cracker of a Christmas single. Riding on the back of the success of their number one album, it was while on a date in sunny California that Wilson found some festive inspiration. Many have tried their hands at the art of the Christmas single. Formulaic attempts are witnessed each year. Talented artists swallow their pride as they strive towards the commercial immortality of the Christmas hit. A sprinkling of sleigh bells and a major shift to a diminished chord is rarely amiss in the ingredients to success. This formula, however, was rarely applied to west coast hot rod songs of the 1960s. What a shame that is. With tight harmonies and similar rhythmic structures to their preceding single ‘Little Deuce Coupe’, it’s Beach Boys’ surf music for the festive period. What a joyful thought!
Image: ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ cover art, Mariah Carey, Columbia Records