The best indie rock Christmas songs of 2009


No one can say that indie rockers aren’t feeling the holiday mood this year. To help provide relief from one too many listens of Jingle Bell Rock, here are some of the best indie Christmas songs to have hit my inbox this year:

10. Silence Your Drum, Heavy Blinkers (featuring Jenn Grant): Here, the Blinkers conscript Jenn Grant to sing this alternative look at the classic song, The Little Drummer Boy. This version is told from the perspective of Joseph and Mary, who’d rather hear some lute rather than the barum-pah-pum-pum. Watch the video here.

9. Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Allo Darlin’: Allo Darlin’ is the recording name of London-based (via Queensland) singer/songwriter Elizabeth Morris. Here’ she takes the holiday standard, and stripes clear the male vocal parts, casting it as a one-sided (beautifully sung) conversation.  Get it on the 2009 Indiecater Christmas compilation.

8. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Slow Club: The fine British duo Slow Club layer their sound over this Motown classic carol.  Download it for free here.

7. Last Christmas, Ohbijou: Here, the Toronto indie folksters de-shmaltz the mega-played Christmas tune by Wham!, complete with glockenspiel and a wink. — Download it via their site.

6. Kiss Me On Christmas, The Canon Logic: This Philly band released their original Christmas song via Twitter last month. Pulling on their Brian Wilson-esque sun-pop, this tune will have you kicking your heels in the snow and running for the slopes for some snow surfing. Download it via their site.

5. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel, The Wilderness of Manitoba:
Like a choir of space age carollers knocking down your door, this Toronto outfit put their harmonizing to good use on this Christmas mainstay. Download it, and a few of these other songs, via the fantastic compilation Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada, via The Line of Best Fit.

4. The Christmas Song, Owl City: If there’s one song on this list with a chance of giving Bing Crosby a run, it’s this one, which could easily ring loudly from parking lots and megamalls in the days leading up to future Christmases. Listen to it here.

3. I Wish It Was Christmas Today, Julian Casablancas: Who knew the lead singer of The Strokes was such a fan of Christmas? So much so, in fact, that he covered this song,and made it a bonus track on his debut album, Phrazes For The Young. Listen to it here.

2. The Ballad of Jack Pine, T Nile: A winter narrative and scales to make you shiver even with the heat cranked, this track by Vancouver folk star Tamara Nile is a must-hear. Check it out here.

1. Sonjas Sang Til Julestjernen, Evening Hymns: Here, Jonas Bonnetta covers a song from one of Norway’s most beloved Christmas movies, Reisen til Julestjernen (The Journey to the Christmas Star), in Norweigan. Creaky, eerie, and beautiful.  Again, get it via the free download of Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada.

BONUS TRACKS:  A Peanuts Christmas, in which enlisted several Canadian indie acts to pay tribute to the beloved Vince Guaraldi Trio soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas. Check it out here.


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