I am a big fan of Christmas, always have been, and I do love a good Christmas song. Many of these songs are loved for the memories they conjure up rather than their quality and for a long while it seemed like the ‘Christmas’ song or album became a bit of a no go area, particularly if you were a band of any credibility. Things have changed more recently with the likes of Sufjan Stevens and others, but back in 1999 when the Minnesota band Low released their mini ‘Christmas’ album, in my head, it really wasn’t the done thing.
Over time the Low album has become a bit of a classic, a standard of how to do a Christmas album with ingenuity and credibility. Saying that, it is very ‘indie’ – slow and possibly sombre in the main – so some people really won’t warm to it. However, it is a great album with moments of beauty and the opening track, which I have posted up, is absolutely stonking. It has, I think, become a bit of a classic, getting covered by the likes of Snow Patrol (badly) but it is still magic….’Just Like Christmas’
It has the production qualities of another well-known and revered Christmas album, Phil Spectors; the sleigh bells and organ/horns give it an instant Christmassy feel and the lyrics are brilliant….’it was just like christmas’…but damn, it feels so Christmassy. As it chugs along you can’t help but get into it and find yourself belting out the chorus by the time the song approaches its end. If it ever comes on when you are at any type of Christmas do with other people who know it, I guarantee instant camaraderie and with them, you will be high kicking your way through it. My pal JPG bought me this album, I think the year after it came out and it must have taken me about 50 attempts to get past the opening track. It is now never off my Christmas playlist.
Playlist Wednesday 19th December 2012
Today was a journey to London from the north. It was the earliest I had left my house for a while and my god it was dark and wet, but thankfully not that cold…certainly not like Christmas. My wife and boy kindly dropped me off at the station and once on the train, I settled down to do some work and listen to some music for the 2 and a half hour journey. I haven’t updated my music in quite a while but have been using Spotify mobile a lot, so have been downloading albums to listen to. First up was the album mentioned above, like a child on Christmas morning, I couldn’t wait to put the opening track on. A few tracks got a few plays and then I went to the Blue Nile’s first album ‘A Walk Across The Rooftops’ that contains the awesome ‘Tinsel Town In The Rain’. After that, as I approached London to change to the tube’ I went to a short playlist I created, of 15 tracks from 2012 (although I have now noticed that at least one was from 2011). Many of the tracks were posted up on this blog. It came to an end just as I entered the building. You can check the Spotify playlist here Fourbearsjr 2012 music
Playlist: Low – Christmas (album), The Blue Nile – A Walk Across The Rooftops (album), Family of the Year – St Croix, Dirty Projectors – Impregnable Question, The Deep Dark Woods – The Banks of The Leopold Canal, Damien Jurado – Working Titles, Carter Tanton – Murderous Joy, The Wave Pictures – Hoops, My Bloody Valentine – Drive It All Over Me, Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles, CFCF – Exercise 5 (September), Polica – Lay Your Cards Out, Django Django – Hail Bop, Sun Airway – Over My Head, Dan Deacon – True Thrush, Auntie Flo – I Haven’t Got Anybody, Nneka – Shining Star (Joe Goddard Remix)