Too Cool For Christmas

We all know that Christmas songs are unnecessarily cheesy for words, just look at recent ‘hits’ like Don’t Let The Bells End? By The Darkness, . What about those bah-humbug people that prefer to stick to an image than enjoy the holiday? Here’s Detour’s list of the ultimate cool Christmas songs:

1. Got Something For You – Best Coast & Wavves

In collaboration for American giant Target, the forerunners of 2010’s breakout genre ‘Chillwave’ collaborate for a uniquely beautiful ode to gift giving. The sunny melodies set it apart from many other efforts, and with lyrics such as ‘Searching for your gifts in the dark’ it manages to encapsulate the feeling that Christmas evokes, with none of the added cheese.

2. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

A bonafide classic that often gets overlooked for the likes of Slade and Wizzard. Released in 1981 the record still sounds contemporary compared to the classics. Centering on the typical girl sees boy at a party fascination, it relays so much to the listener while still being danceable, a rare achievement these days.

3. I Wish It Was Christmas Today – Julian Casablancas

Led by the king of indie-cool Strokes front man Casablancas stepped out of his typical genre to create this audio wonder. Including the full works, especially sleigh bells; it has all the elements of the Christmas hits of yesteryear, without pushing it too much.

4. Don’t Shoot Me Santa – The Killers

A slightly more morbid look at Christmas, this call and answer piece between Brandon and Santa reminds us why we fell in love with The Killers to begin with.  This song is just like a Christmas dinner though, without the trimmings it just wouldn’t be right.

5. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Slow Club

A song originally sung by Darlene Love in 1963, and covered by everyone from Mariah Carey to U2, the version by Slow Club is nigh on perfect. Rebecca Taylor’s vocals are not overly saccharine like many seasonal delights we’re bombarded with, but rather emotive and pleading like every left lover at Christmas.

6. Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Standard Christmas fare, but the haunting beauty of this Christmas classic surely cannot be disliked by anyone. Sure the cool kids may scold you for not knowing any other Pogues song, but just like the Coca-Cola advert, once you’ve heard this its truly the Christmas season.

7. All I Want For Christmas – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Before you all run away screaming, this is not a cover of the well known classics, rather a haunting yet cheerful piece that only Karen and the boys seem to be able to do so well.

8. Ghost Of Christmas – Manic Street Preachers

One of the few songs to ever reference Scalextric and Xbox, this heavy number from the Manics is reminiscent of recent album Send Away The Tigers rather than newer material, but still manages to be danceable, even when very drunk.

9. Christmas Is Cancelled – The Long Blondes

An indie casualty, but this little Christmas gem reminds us how good the Blondes were. Lyrical storytelling at its best, this story of the cast out lover returning to the mistress may not fully encapsulate the seasonal spirit, but hey, there are sleigh bells attached, and that’s good enough for me.

10. Is This Christmas – The Wombats

They may not be the coolest bunch anymore, but this should well have been a classic. Filling a dance floor faster than kids racing to the tree on Christmas morning, this song has to include some of the best Christmas lyrics of recent times: “What’s that burning? What’s that burning? My mum shrieks down” and “Though it never really snows its more like horizontal sleet” are up their with the best.

(Originally posted at


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