For some reason, the closing of the year seems to be a time when everyone becomes particularly cheesy in their music choices. Disgusting.
For those of you who may not want to have the sweet sounds of Mariah Carey drilled into your ears over and over again this festive season, we at The Edge have graciously put together our favourite alternative celebration songs – so you can put your headphones on and shut the world out. Hooray!
Dafna, Cameron Desnoes – ‘8NIGHTS’
Evocative of love in the holidays, this quiet song is a must-have on my Christmas playlist each year. The lyrics are a warm hug of wintery sensations, reminding me of evenings at my parents’ home; our family culture of shared dinner times and the gift of a cup of tea on a cold day. Though it was originally written as a Hannukah love song (hence, ‘8Nights’), Dafna & Desnoes’ smooth voices fit beautifully with the general Winter holidays, with innocence like untouched snow reflecting the wholesomeness of spending time with a new or old love in December.
I love the magic and hope that the song inspires too; ‘The moon is listening / The stars are whispering / I’ll hold you ’til the end of June.’ It is undeniable that winter celebrations hold a certain kind of magical glow, and Dafna captures that perfectly, with her reference to hopes for the New Year.
The song was created by chance – Desnoes discovered Dafna’s music on Tiktok, and upon sending her a gushing DM was accepted as the perfect candidate to realise her dream of writing a contemporary Hannukah song which captured Dafna’s own love of the celebration with her family.
All in all, this is an essential addition to the Alternative Celebrations playlist – just like new pj’s and a hot water bottle, it will make your heart warm and happy.
‘8NIGHTS’ is available to listen to via Margalit Records. Listen on Spotify below:
Majestica – ‘Ghost Of Christmas Past’
Perhaps metal isn’t a genre usually associated with catchy Christmas songs, yet Swedish four-piece Majestica makes it work with this delightful 5-minute masterpiece from their 2020 album A Christmas Carol; a concept album based around Charles Dickens’ novel of the same name.
Lyrically, this song focuses on Ebeneezer Scrooge’s encounter with the first of the ‘three ghosts’ who aim to turn around his miserable ways. Heavily interpolating fellow banger ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’ for the verses works wonders, as guitar licks and rapid drumming lead up to an utterly monumental chorus that will surely be stuck in your head right up to the festive period this year.
Frontman Tommy Johansson’s vocals are crucially what allow this tune to be taken to a higher level; switching fluidly from vocals softer than a Cushelle toilet roll to a melodic yell that any metal fan can appreciate. In fact, the whole album is certainly worth a listen – whether you are a fan of the original story or not! A deluxe version of the album is also set to release this year, with lead single ‘Glory of Christmas’ already released into the world.
‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ is available to listen to via Nuclear Blast. Listen on Spotify below:
Low – ‘Just Like Christmas’
Any alternative Christmas playlist wouldn’t be complete without a slightly melancholy festive tune to bring down the mood. Low‘s ‘Just Like Christmas’, from their 1999 EP entitled Christmas, is just that.
Praised by many for it’s slightly depressing tone, ‘Just Like Christmas’ perfectly encaptures the feeling of trying to get into the Christmas spirit as a (perhaps slightly cynical) adult; the bittersweet lyric ‘You said it was like Christmas, but you were wrong / wasn’t like Christmas at all’ feels more and more apt the older you get.
With no over-the-top catchy chorus, an organ instead of Mariah Carey-esque church bells, and sadly nostalgic lyrics, this song provides the perfect backing track for any moody individual who is sick of hearing Wham!‘s ‘Last Christmas’ for the hundredth time in a supermarket.
‘Just Like Christmas’ is available to listen to via kranky. Hear it on Spotify below: