If You’re Sick Of Christmas Carols, Get Our Alternate Holiday Playlist In Your Earholes
From James Brown to DMX to Julian Casablancas.
Music 11m

Sick of the regulars? Our alternative Xmas playlist where there something for everyone, whether you’ve been naughty or nice.

It’s that time of year again – excessive boozing, way too much food, inappropriate comments about your boss, it all means one thing – it’s Xmas party season. If hearing that Mariah Carey song makes your ears want to bleed, we have the remedy for you right here with our alternative Chrimbo playlist. Pour yourself a tall glass of eggnog and whiskey wrap yourself up in fairy lights and pump these tracks.

James Brown – Soulful Christmas 


In reality, this whole list could be made up of songs from the legend’s 1968 album James Brown’s Soulful Christmas. It’s full of gems that will make for a nice distraction as your manager chews your ear off about their upcoming renovations/what a fun time they had at their kid’s end of year recital. A funky start to Xmas is the right kind of start.

Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today


Looking forward to getting a new haircut, some old Converse and vintage suit for Xmas? Well, this one’s for you. Julian Casablancas’ 2009 tune comes with all the trimmings you’d expect from indie rock royalty, and is the perfect accompaniment to the start of your Xmas countdown as you head into work on that final Monday.

Snoop Dogg & Nate Dogg – Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto

Taking it’s title from our James Brown’s 1968 tune and featuring Snoop’s alternative 12 Days of Christmas countdown, this track is everything you could ask for from two of Cali’s favourite sons – nonchalant delivery, smooth bass, and more weed references than you could stuff into a sack. Pour one out for Nate Dogg and play this banger.

Spinal Tap – Christmas With The Devil


Subjects of the greatest ever mockumentary, Spinal Tap gift us one of the more ludicrous Xmas tunes. Complete with some serious shredding and a spoken word Christmas message from the band themselves, this is the perfect song for head-banging around Xmas tree. And guess what? Volume on this one can be turned up to 11.

The Shins – Wonderful Christmastime



Covering Paul McCartney and doing justice to the living legend is no easy task…  Here however, The Shins take it to the next level, and turn this number into the perfect tune to spin when the oldies have hit the hay – you’ve made it through the most painful of family convos, congratulations. Listen to this in celebration.

TLC – All I Want For Christmas


Possibly the sexiest song to make this list, TLC have delivered the perfect santhem for anyone who wants to get caught underneath the mistletoe with a certain someone this year. Light some candles, dim the lights, do your sexy Xmas dance (if you have one) when you give this a spin.

The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick


As you are hustling and bustling around overcrowded malls weaving between busy-body mums, hopeless boyfriends and last-minute panickers, put your headphones on and turn this one up. Let the soothing harmonies of The Beach Boys carry you far far away from the godawful place you’re at.

DMX – Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

One of the most distinct voices in hip-hop has lent his name to a Xmas classic for those of you who are getting especially lit this season. With sleigh bells and all, DMX’s take on this tune was a longtime Internet meme before it received an official studio version last week – and thank god the Ruff Ryders head honcho was here to drench the Christmas carol with his hardcore gravel delivery.

The Flaming Lips – Christmas At The Zoo


This may hit home for some more than others, but if your family turn into animals around the Xmas tree, you might be able to relate this one. As you’d expect from The Flaming Lips, this is a kooky tale about a man liberating our caged friends from their prisons – like I said, you may or may not be able to relate to this one…

John Lennon, The Plastic Ono Band and the Harlem Community Choir – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)


When you’ve given up justifying your life to every family member around you, just raise your glasses, put your arm around your neighbour and sway your way through this Xmas standard. Even the cat and dog will put aside their beefs for this one, it’s guaranteed to bring even the most jaded of families together.

Top left image via Miss Info, top right image courtesy of Capitol Records.

Words by Harry Webber December 4, 2017
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