SGCR x ALT3RD: 7 alternative tracks for your Christmas parties
Do they know it’s Christmas?

 

With Singapore missing out on the seasonal wintry weather, one that characterizes the holiday period in other parts of the world, our culture compensates with extensive decorations and an unwavering festive cheer. You’d step into town and hear holiday song standards in shopping malls from as early as November.

 

But with the year being as solemn and fatiguing as it has been, the holiday rush hasn’t been as overwhelming. What remains are the songs: the tunes that evoke enough spirit that it might just feel like it’s not 2020. Still, we might just be sick of the usual favourites by now. If you feel a need to rejuvenate your party playlist for the holiday, we have choice picks that will add something fresh to the festivities.

 

Kishi Bashi - ‘It's Christmas, But It's Not White Here in Our Town’

 

 

Arguably the track here that best exemplifies Christmas in Singapore. There’s no sweet winter bliss, no frost on the nose, no angels of snow, just a mood. Kishi Bashi’s delightfully sugary song, which runs just under two minutes, captures that ineffable feeling that always feels out of time.

 

Ferry - ‘A Song To Sleep To’

 

 

To follow up one snow-less Christmas song after another, ‘A Song To Sleep To’ is taken off Middle Class Cigars’ underrated 2016 compilation that celebrates the holiday on our island. Ferry’s opening track drifts into an ocean of reverb that’s less a catchy pop song than an exploration filled with ASMR sounds. A proper mood-setter.

 

Tatsuro Yamashita - ‘Christmas Eve’

 

 

There’s a reason why Tatsuro remains one of city pop’s darlings. His work is a celebration of popular music styles, encapsulating the elation of pop, soul, funk, jazz and R&B into 3-4 minutes of ear candy. In ‘Christmas Eve’, he induces the festive feeling by grabbing familiar lines from traditional Christmas standards, adding his signature studio magic to produce the perfect Christmas city pop song, and maybe one of pop’s best overall.

 

Sharon Van Etten - ‘Silent Night’

 

 

‘Silent Night’ has always been a solemn song, but Sharon Van Etten adds some grit and poignancy to this everlasting Christmas carol. Something to savour when settling down after a feast.

 

Jojo - ‘December Baby’

 

 

A double-treat for the December babies: Jojo (our other blessed saviour that starts with a J) recently put out a full album of Christmas-themed songs. For the singer, who’s born on Dec 20, ‘December Baby’ adds to the festivities a universal feeling of yearning. Because what is Christmas without some wistful love?

 

Field Music - ‘Home For Christmas’

 

 

Paul McCartney has contributed so many treasures to music, but for some people, ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ is up there among the best. Here is where Field Music comes to the rescue — this driving synth-pop song has immense Beatles charm to be as much of a classic, except it arrives in 2020.

 

Carly Rae Jepsen - ‘It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries’

 

 

Bringing the first original Christmas tune of 2020, releasing it in late-October, Carly Rae Jepsen is evidently a Christmas fan. However, her song evades the usual humdrum happiness of the season, peeling back to the dysfunction that does happen at Christmas gatherings. And yet, it’s just as catchy that it has the power to wash over any ill-feelings from dinner table fights.