10 Christmas songs by Toronto bands
Get into the spirit with these holiday songs from Toronto bands
My personal favourite holiday listening is Hanson's Snowed In. I've been listening to it every Christmas since 1997 — so that is disturbing (let's attribute it to egg nog, ok?).
Below you'll find 10 Christmas songs by Toronto artists/bands — guaranteed to be just as infectious as Hanson and a lot less horrible. Happy holidays to all!
The Elwins — "All I Want For Christmas Is You"
If you're still questioning whether The Elwins are the nicest band around, this cute video will put the issue to rest. Dan Busheikin of ChartAttack talks to the band about believing in Santa, their favourite Christmas songs and also steals the show at the end of the video. Clips are interspersed throughout the Mariah Carey cover, and makes for the cutest and warmest video.
Ohbijou — "Last Christmas"
Christmas angst never sounded so pretty. Ohbijou does a decent rendition of the Wham! classic about unrequited love. No song that deploys the analogy "soul of ice" and which features the repeated use of the word "special" has any business being good, but somehow this one defies expectations. "Hold my heart and watch it burn..."
Feist — "Please Be Patient"
Sung to the tune of "Angels We Have Heard on High," Feist joins forces with Stephen Colbert to satirize the prospect of getting through to that Christmas angel you've been hoping will help to answer your prayers. The basic premise: be prepared to wait awhile.
Serena Ryder — "Calling To Say"
More holiday sadness — perhaps with a touch of incest! Serena Ryder is in love with a member of her family (alright, it's probably an ex-spouse, but the opening lyrics just sound weird), who's moved on with his life and is no longer around to go on Christmas light tours. Positively heartbreaking.
Dragonette — "Merry X-Mas *Says Your Text Message)"
Evidently a big hit with Germans (which makes sense because that's where Christmas trees come from), there's a lesson in here for the ex-lover who wishes to send season's greetings to an old flame. Don't do it, or you might get the following response: "Thanks a lot, but fuck you." It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!
Fucked Up — "Do They Know It's Christmas?"
Funded with a portion of the cash they won for the 2009 Polaris Prize, Fucked Up's cover of the star-studded '80s hit features its own fair share of (indie) clout. Offering their services are Yo La Tengo, Kevin Drew, GZA, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Bob Mould, Tegan & Sara, Andrew W.K., Kyp Malone, and David Cross.
The Skydiggers — "Good King Wenceslas"
Unfortunately not a video of a live performance but instead a series of cheesy photographs. Nevertheless, the song is pretty damn good as far as holiday tracks go.
Teenage Kicks — "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
This is the best Christmas song I've ever heard. Peter's own description of this cover is the one to read, though — not mine. Check out the link above for the story.
Jason Collett — "A Beguiled Christmas Sales"
Probably not a surprise, but Jason Collett shies away from the conventional holiday cheer (at least lyrically) in favour of a more sobering take on the rampant commercialism that defines this time of year. Hey, at least it sounds upbeat. If you don't listen carefully, you can still open all your gifts with glee!
Evening Hymns — "Sonjas Sang Til Julestjernen"
Who knows what it's about? They say it's Christmas music and it kind of sounds like Christmas music — so I'm going to go with that, especially on account of those horns.
For a whole lot more holiday music from local bands, check out the Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada compilation, which was released a few years ago and is now free for download.