it's the most wonderful time of the year (or so the song goes) and although i hate the fact that the first smattering can be heard as early as late October some years, i genuinely love Christmas songs
there have been occasions where i have been driven to the brink of losing my sanity as the same songs repeat over and over and over by the 24th of December, but with enough ducking and diving through the festive period, it is possible to get through it mentally unscathed.
i'm still filled with joy when i hear the likes of The Waitresses, Wizzard and Wham (and other festive favourites that have not been brought to us by the letter W) but my coping mechanism over the past few years has been to invest in a couple of alternative Christmas albums (i would suggest James Brown's Funky Christmas for a rather chilled one, or the rather rare xfm cool cool Christmas compilation), compile my own seasonal playlists and to have a good hunt around for any other jolly holiday records that are unlikely to see as much airplay as Mariah Carey and Slade.
i've even had a stab at recording my own Christmas single in 2008, taking a rather cynical stab at all the things that seem to make up our modern vision of what Christmas is to so many people in our current culture.
but this year, i do decree that i have found two absolute crackers (please forgive me for the awful pun, it just comes so naturally this time of year) that stand up to the kind of repeated plays that as all the old standards that get trotted out each year, just don't expect Radio 2 and office parties to pick up on these at all, we're keeping it pretty niche.
first up is an artist that i make no secret of being a fan of, Akira The Don, who joins the likes of Michael Buble this year by releasing his own Christmas album which could be dropping down your digital chimney before Santa is doing his rounds tonight.
yes, it is true that i get a shout out over the outro of the release, but there is no bias when i recommend the tongue in cheek auto-tuned romp of Sexmas featuring Envy, which turns up the heat while it is cold outside, stuffed with some rather ludicrous innuendo yet utterly irresistible with it.
stream: Sexmas ft Envy by Akira The Don
from the album, Saturnalia Superman
and pushing the limits of what is acceptable in a Christmas song even further is a free download from L.A duo, The Connects, who take the absurd and crank it up to 11 with an anthem that should by all rights be heard all the world over, but under no circumstances is it a suitable stocking filler for young children or easily offended grandparents.
download: Christmas in the Club by The Connects
from the free EP, How The Connects Stole Christmas