As far as I'm concerned Christmas 2009 has been unparalleled for discovering new Christmas music. I've loved having a renewed soundtrack to Christmas and it's been great to say goodbye to Slade, the entire Christmas Crooner selection and the usual seasonal tat and replace it with music that is both original and yet still evokes that Christmassy feeling. Here's a few of my new favourites.
Firstly, I got hold of a copy of Sufjan Stevens 'Hark! Songs for Christmas' collection. A few tracks can be downloaded for free on his offical website - check it out here. I love the sounds of these records and they have enough quirkiness to make it really fun.
Next, I listened to Bob Dylan's double helping of the Christmas Theme Time Radio Hour. There are some great songs on this show - and some very funny moments, too. You can check out the tracklist here or download it from here. My personal favourites are 'Merry, Merry Christmas' by Alton Ellis and the Lipsticks and 'Santa Claus' by Sonny Boy Wllliamson II.
Now if that wasn't enough (around 70 tracks), there are some other great songs I've discovered. Steve Earle's 'Christmas in Washington' is magnificent and pretty much everything on 'The McGarrigle Christmas Hour' that features plenty of Rufus and Martha Wainwright.
And so all that remains is to wish you a very happy Christmas! And happy listening...