An Alternative Christmas Playlist 2014

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Remember my last year’s alternative Christmas playlist? If you don’t, you can look it up here. The idea of this playlist was born out of the necessity to escape the so-called “Christmas songs”. They ambush the unaware and innocent individual, to manifest themselves in the brains of their hosts. Let’s see if I am able to find another ten songs which serve as an enjoyable and appropriate alternative to the generic Christmas songs.

 

Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts 34

In 2008 the Nine Inch Nails released an album of a special kind – Ghosts. It is a collection of 36 songs, which differ in style from the rest of their discography. The songs are instrumental only and go stylistically towards ambient.

 

Laibach – Across the Universe

In 1988 Slovenian industrial-pioneers Laibach covered a whole album by the Beatles (‘Let it be’). Among the songs one can also find ‘Across the Universe’, nicely sung by the Slovenian singer Anja Rupel (ex-Videosex).

 

Currently this song is interpreted at Laibach’s live concerts by Mina Špiler.

Melodrom – Taking Pictures

The aforementioned singer Mina Špiler, now a constant member of Laibach, is (was?) the front-woman of the synth-hop project Melodrom.

 

Swans – She Crys (For Spider)

Swans are known as the inventors of no-wave music and relentless troublemakers. In my opinion Jarboe, one of the founding members of Swans, has the best female vocals of the post-punk regiment. The following quote describes her voice better than I could:

“To say she has the most amazing vocal range just doesn’t encompass her ability to go from fragility and delicacy to raw screaming power. […] Half-siren, half-steamroller, a little like Linda Blair in ‘The Exorcist’ in how she alternates from innocent little girl to roaring demon; 0 to 666 in under two seconds.” -Guardian Unlimited,UK”

 

The Beauty of Gemina – Stairs

Liechtenstein’s Michael Sele, the multi-instrumentalist founder of Beauty of Gemina, gained my attention with the industrial hit ‘Suicide Landscape’. Among his oeuvre slower songs can be found as well, for instance the touching ‘Stairs’.

 

Brotherhood – Sleepwalking

Swedish post-punk ensamble Brotherhood released the song ‘Sleepwalking’ in 2012, which definitely fits the mood of the last calm days of the year.

 

Parov Stelar – Homesick

Marcus Füreder, better known under his pseudonym Parov Stelar, is an Austrian DJ and musician. His down tempo music serves as a suitable Christmas song substitute.

 

Cocteau Twins – Lorelei

Post-punk legends Cocteau Twins contribute one of their numerous gems to this playlist.

 

Farblos – Winterherz

This mysterious one-man-project from Germany gained recognition through its demo-song ‘Winterherz’. Makes the snow more bearable.

 

The Frozen Autumn – Dusk is Like a Dagger

Italian darkwave-gods The Frozen Autumn at their finest. No comment…

 

About André Savetier

Since 2011 André Savetier is actively working as a music journalist with an expertise on contemporary new wave music phenomena.
His scientific specialization is anthropology of music and anthropology of popular culture. Savetier remains intrigued by the interplay between the aforementioned social phenomena, the told (and untold) legends of music and its roots.

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