This year's playlist (thus far) is short--just 6 tracks--but given the awesomeness of every track, I can't say I mind.
Starting the set is a cover of Low's "Just Like Christmas" from Pat Kearns of Blue Skies for Black Hearts. That song just sounds so good, no matter who is singing it, and Pat gives it a fine Indie Pop swing with subtle hints of Folk. Then things get heavy with Magnuson's Progressive Rock bordering-on-Metal reading of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". Plenty of distortion and guitar shredding make this one a fine anthem for your annual Christmas parties. Hard to believe there are only two people raising all this fine racket. Alejandra O'Leary steps up next with "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)". Alejandra shows you how Indie Rock should sound and how the Spector anthem should be righteously covered in the 21st century. Stick around through the credits--nice ending here.
The tempo and mood turn on a dime when Hawks Do Not Share take center stage, next. A lovely bit of folktronic shoegaze, "Christmas Eve, Montmartre" appears on the band's latest album, "HDNS". It's the sort of thing that seduces you. "Mix me. You know you want to."
It would be difficult to overstate my infatuation with Piney Gir. She's pretty much a regular on the XO sets and, this year, she does not disappoint. When Indie Pop meets Piney Gir meets Exotica, well...this one is gonna spoil you; you're never going to be satisfied with any other rendition of "Christmas Island" ever again. "XO For The Holidays VII" closes with one of the best Psych Punk tracks you'll ever hear, "Got Gratitude" by The Love Dimension. And, OK, so the song's originally from 2011 (re-recorded earlier this year) and its not a Christmas track, per se. I don't care. This is what would happen if you locked the Doors and the Blues Magoos in a small room overnight with nothing but gallons of espresso. And that's something everybody should experience.
So there you have it. "XO For The Holidays VII". Grab it free. Collect the whole set--all 7 volumes. Thank you XO Publicity. You make the season bright.