I’m sure it’s not just the UK that suffers from the yearly problem of novelty and festive muck clogging up the charts at this time of year. There are always other alternatives of course, but this year, with our new rules that allow downloads, there may be a serious chance to get some more Daily Growl-friendly songs in there. So here’s the contenders
First up, Scottish miserablist Malcolm Middleton, playing up to type though no doubt with tongue firmly planted in cheek. When his song We’re All Going to Die was first touted, bookmakers William Hill gave it the longest odds ever for reaching the top spot – 1000/1. But the latest news is that the odds have shortened so much that Malky is now fourth favourite to be a chart-topper at 12/1! Just imagine he could get there. Imagine Top of the Pops or whatever chart show’s on playing a song with the chorus “You’re all going to die alone” on Christmas day. Just imagine. He explains the connection between the song and the season like this: “Dying is a bit like writing a letter to Santa. Unless you’ve been a good boy or girl, you’re fucked.”
There’s a site where you can hear the song (it’s pretty good actually). It’s out today to download and a limited 7 inch (with David Shrigley artwork) comes out next Monday, though if you want to take part in (what he calls) the battle of good (himself) vs. evil (the X Factor winner), you may wish to wait till next week to part with your virtual cash. He’s got ‘celebrity backing too – Colin Murray’s on board, resulting in this wee flyer.
Not appearing anywhere on the betting list at the moment is pop-soul outfit Lucky Soul, though that might change soon because Last.fm are throwing their weight behind the Greenwich band to head to the top of the hit parade. This is a very good thing, and they’ve got a page dedicated to the campaign where this natty flyer is taken from.
It’s a digital re-release for their Lips Are Unhappy Single, backed with their cover of festive favourite Lonely This Christmas, just to keep it topical. It’s out next Monday too, but you can pre-order it now for the princely sum of 40p. Yes – a whole forty pence. That’s hardly going to break the band is it? And surely it’s worth it to see the smile wiped off Simon Cowell’s face, unlikely though that may seem. What’s more, it’s all for charidee (War Child).
Other seasonal treats include Asobi Seksu’s cover of the Ramones’ classic Merry Christmas (I don’t want to fight tonight), surprisingly at 66/1 for the number one spot. It has no chance obviously, but may still be worth a sneaky purchase. It’s not a Christmas single as such, but with a title like We Dress Up Like Snowmen, The Wave Pictures’ current single fits into the seasonal style of things. It’s out now on seven inch with the equally good Now You Are Pregnant on the b-side. They’re a band well worthy of your support.
Finally, and nothing to do with Christmas, Yule or anything faintly December is the new single Hilli by Amiina. It does however have something of an ‘endings’ theme because it featured spoken word vocals by the late great Lee Hazelwood, apparently the last he ever recorded before his death earlier in the year. In my opinion, the vocals, iconic though they may be, overshadow the fragile beauty of the original version which is possibly the stand-out track on a gorgeous album. But all said, it’s still worth what’s left of your Xmas single money.
If you have any money left though, go to the bookies and put a bet on Malcolm Middleton and Lucky Soul. It would be amusing to see the odds shorten even further…
Since I’m encouraging you to buy, I’m obviously not putting any of these tracks up for download, but here are other tracks by some of the above artists to whet your appetite.