With Crimbo merely a couple of days away, we here at TLOBF Towers have been decking the halls with boughs of holly and roasting chestnuts on a health and safety-snubbing open fire. Of course, no Xmas festivities would be complete without a few tinsel-tingling ditties and, with auditory nerves quivering at the prospect of Sir Cliff and Noddy once again percolating ear canals, we’ve lovingly compiled an alternative list of Yuletide cuts so sharp they’d scythe through the toughest of turkeys. Seriously, with presents like this, who needs an iPhone under the tree? Oh…
Sufjan Stevens – “Put the Lights On the Tree”
Aye , it’s predictable but there’s nae doubting Sufjan’s ability to coax out the inner child of Christmases past. Eliciting goose-pimpled skin with a sledge ride of chime and key, the video is a gobsmacking festive ditty that recalls Crimbo morning cartoons whilst eagerly awaiting the unwrapping of presents.
Low – “Just Like Christmas”
Forget Wham’s “Last Christmas” – Low’s brilliant sleigh-bell symphony is the perfect hand-clasping saunter for Christmassy couples. Built around beatific, lip-pursed harmonies, this gooey-hearted lament is brimming with the kind of soulful tidings Phil Spector once brought to the Christmas table.
The Bicycles – “It’s a Magic Christmas”
Abounding with the antsy anticipation of a Crimbo morn, this all-too-brief instrumental exudes festive cheer with every twinkle-toed note. On top of that, the video’s unifying undertones should make us all step back and think about what’s really important this Christmas – yep, that’s right. Guitar Hero: World Tour.
The Wave Pictures – “I Love You Like Like a Madman”
Instrumentally, there’s nowt particularly festive about the London trio’s jangling swoop of guitar and brass. But amidst this tale of awkward family get-togethers, gluttonous overeating and heart-wrenching solitude is a Christmas message everyone can relate to: get pissed, dance and proclaim your unyielding devotion to those you love the most.
Billy Idol – “Jingle Bell Rock”
Words can shed little light on the motivation behind the ex-Generation X frontman’s strangely compulsive abomination of a Christmas classic, so it’s best to just sit back, watch the video and be dumbfounded. Remember, kids, this man was once a punk pioneer.
Malcolm Middleton – “We’re All Going To Die”
After Mr Idol’s plastic-faced shenanigans, Malcy’s overbearing miserablism is a welcome relief. The curmudgeon Scot’s icy blast of winter doomsaying may not be a breezy festive frolic but, let’s face it, the ginger-topped big man makes a cracking Santa Claus.
The Killers – “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”
Typical of the Killers with its self-effacing verses and life-affirming chorus, this major-key opus sees the Vegas-born quartet making good use of their power-ballad predilections. In all honesty, such overindulgence could only ever be forgiven at Christmas. Hey, at least it’s not the Darkness.
The Raveonettes – “The Christmas Song”
Shoegazing and Christmas may not seem like the perfect match – unless it’s a brand-new pair of Jimmy Choos under the tree – but the Raveonettes have somehow created a remarkable hybrid of the two. Brooding with sanguine percussion, the sighing vocal and twitching fret taps transform into a chasmal winterland hymn that’s as luscious as it is haunting.
Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want Wanna Fight Tonight)”
A primitive blast of rampant punk-pop, this is Ramones at their finest: throttling, barbaric and gushing with puppy love. Accompanied by a video that will resonate with many a couple at this time of year, “Merry Christmas” is one of the truly great Xmas songs.
Reuben – “Christmas Is Awesome”
Awful Christmas jumpers? Check. Miniature instruments? Check. Carol-singing children? Fuck , yeah. Reuben’s apoplectic stab at festive cheer may not be a melodious splurge of singalong glee but, as riotously infectious rock throbs go, it shits horseradish sauce on allcomers with just one line: “We’re sorry about all of that ‘nailed to a cross’ business”. Sheer genius.
Now you’ve seen our favourite Xmas videos, we want to know yours. Why not leave your fellow readers a little something under the tree and drop us a [legal] link below. After all, it’s the giving – not the receiving – that matters…