Winter is descending on Glasgow; with shorter days, colder nights and the inevitable same festive songs playing over and over again in shops. If you’ll be stuck in a retail job over the holiday period, or shudder at the thought of hearing the same tired and worn out ‘Now That’s What I Call Christmas’ tunes for another year then we have the playlist for you. Perfect for Christmas travels, revision or dissertation work, and those late walks back from the pub.
Christmas Will Break Your Heart – LCD Soundsystem
Following in a long line of traditional sad Christmas power ballads, Christmas Will Break Your Heart is the perfect tune for the inevitable post-festivity blues. The song was the band’s first venture into new music in five years. It followed frontman James Murphy’s ideas of a Christmas song that he had sung to himself for years, and was recorded in September of 2015. Christmas Will Break Your Heart is perfect for the inevitable travels home after D*** F*****, where you’ll be feeling queasy and a little hungover: uncertain of what awaits you at home, and how your friends and family will have inevitably changed.
White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
While relatively unconcerned with Christmas or festivities, this song – with its choral refrains and soft vocals, is a beautiful winter song. When the snow inevitably rolls into Glasgow, probably at the least opportune moment, this is the song you’ll want as you trudge through the snow to your first pint of the day or your friend’s flat with working heating. The musical equivalent of a hot beverage or a dram, sometimes you can like a song just because it’s perfectly nice and heart-warming.
It’s Christmas and You’re Boring Me – Slow Club
Slow Club – the Sheffield duo known for their thoughtful indie pop – surprise with a heartfelt exposition of a situation too many have been in. A comfortable relationship has over the holidays reached the end of the line – with the narrator sad to realise that “You’ve made me happy but you don’t excite me; I’ll wait till New Years to tell you we’re through”. It’s a softly sung acoustic piece reminding us that the holiday season is prone to just as many romantic issues as the rest of the year, despite what Hollywood may have us think.
Kindle a Flame in Her Heart – Los Campesinos!
In Kindle a Flame in her Heart, Los Campesinos! Find themselves grappling with the angst and loneliness of Christmas, when you’re maybe most prone to nostalgia, and likely to hold rose-tinted specs to past relationships. As is to be expected from a cult-band like LC! the lyrics are sharp, funny and often deeply personal. Reader, don’t be fooled, after your fourth G&T you have not realised the error of your ways, do not drunk text or call your ex!
It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop – Frightened Rabbit
According to Frightened Rabbit, the holiday season is the time for charity, goodwill and trying to make amends for the years’ failings. The Scottish rockers put together a genuine plea for us to make amends, and cross divides we’ve let fester over the past 11 months, “And life might never get better than this; It’s the perfect excuse for our natures to change; and wear shiny clothes”. A sentiment we should all try to get behind over the festive period, be it with annoying siblings, ignorant distant relatives, or being asked to do your parents a favour.
Driving Under Stars – Maricka Hackman
For many of us, Christmas is a time to return to our distant homes, bringing with it stress, excitement, nostalgia and a feeling of loss for a period of our lives long since passed. The holiday season is where we’re expected to occupy a role and a life that, for many of us, we’ve long since outgrown. Hackman’s soft guitar and questioning lyrics perfectly accompany those making their distant journeys back home for the holiday season.
A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like a Kiss) – Glasgvegas
We end our playlist with some homegrown talent. Glasvegas’s festive song focuses, like many a Christmas classic, on how we overcome those feelings of loneliness we feel during the festive period. It’s a beautiful ballad, with the piano segueing into a percussion and synth led finale – where we can all hopefully feel a little less alone. Perfect for the walk home from the pub on Christmas Eve, when you’re feeling a little too sorry for yourself.