Rising young Jazz singer Jose James first posted "The Christmas Song" in 2010. It was mentioned by our good friends at Christmas A Go Go and by the King of Jingaling over at FaLaLaLaLa.com at the time (I keep telling you that man does not live by Stubbys alone). But I'm pretty sure we didn't mention it here since, at the time, it was neither a free download nor available for purchase. Silly me, I didn't check back this year and, as it turns out, James posted the track as a free download a few days before Christmas. So, while it lasts, head to Jose James web site or use the Soundcloud widget above (click on the downward arrow on the right) and grab this super cool and special rendition of "The Christmas Song" from Jose James. The track also features Jazz and Blues legend Junior Mance on the eighty-eights. How cool is that?
1. Heat Miser (2011)
2. Last Christmas (2009)
3. Santa Claus Goodbye (2011)
4. Coldest Night Of The Year (2010)
5. I Don't Intend To Spend Christmas Without You (2008)
6. Old Toy Trains (2006)
7. The Christmas Wish (2004)
8. Anorak Christmas (2010)
9. Baby, It's Cold Outside (2007)
10. Silver And Gold (2005)
DOWNLOAD FREE THROUGH BANDCAMP
DOWNLOAD FREE AT GORDON MERRICK'S WEB SITE
Looking for covers of "Coldest Night Of The Year", this was the first one that popped up in Google. Gordon Merrick and Cilla Danone have been building this collection a song or two a year for the better part of a decade. And, being as Gordon is currently residing in North Carolina, I certainly want to give the man a shout. With the possible exception of "Last Christmas", this is a pretty thoughtful collection of covers (and I'm guessing "Santa Claus Goodbye" , at least, is an original, cause I can't say I've ever run across it before) that fits the Indie Pop style Gordon's cultivated (or, as he tags it, "blandemonium"). If you like the kind of whisper pop that I think is best typified by The Bells "Stay Awhile" from 1971--and I always have--this will be right in your strike zone. Strangely, there are a few songs that don't make the Bandcamp cut--perhaps because they don't feature Cilla--that you can find on Gordon's web site..."Feliz Navidad" from 2007, "Merry Christmas Darling" (featuring Ina Roulin) from 2003, and "The Christmas Song" (featuring Neville Brody) from 2002. They're all free. In fact, all of Gordon's music is free through his web site, though donations are welcome. So go ahead and pig out. You're bound to find a diamond or two.
I haven't heard much about AMOS since his release of the "Xxxmas" single in 2009. But then again, I'm sort of overly focused on holiday material, so you can't really read much into that. AMOS is a German artist whose work to date has been a wonderful collision of techno and pop. For his 2009 Christmas single, though, AMOS stuck pretty much with the Pop. The A-side subject matter made "Xxxmas" a natural for mixtapes everywhere, but the B-side "Goodbye Santa" showed uncharacteristic sentimentality and sweetness. You can still get the full single via Amazon as either download or CD-single, or in the latter format from Germany's Sounds of Subterrania label. But, at the moment, you can also download "Goodbye Santa" for free via Soundcloud. To keep up with the latest AMOS news, check his Facebook page. And just for kicks and giggles, here's the video of "Xxxmas" for anyone who hasn't seen it before.
1. The Christmas Song
2. Little St. Nick
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You
4. You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch
5. Please Come Home For Christmas
6. Feliz Navidad
7. Baby It's Cold Outside featuring the Abominable Siren
8. Christmas Time Is Here
9. Run Rudolph Run
10. Sleigh Ride featuring the Abominable Siren
11. Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
DOWNLOAD FREE AT BANDCAMP
Earlier on, we brought Robot & The Wizard to your attention by way of their free Christmas EP (as Snowbot & The Blizzard), "Chapter Tree". At the time, though, there were only four songs involved. The 8-Bit group continued to churn out the holiday melodies straight through Christmas, finishing with 11 tracks in all--2 featuring the Abominable Siren. As with the first four, there's some that work and some that don't. I wasn't crazy about "Please Come Home For Christmas", for example, but "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "Run Rudolph Run" were a lot of fun. And "Feliz Navidad" was absolutely made for the 8-Bit treatment. Now that we're into a new month and year, Snowbot & The Blizzard should have a replenished supply of free downloads, so make sure you get the whole album, if you downloaded the earlier sample set. It's an instant download, too, meaning no email address required. Afterwards, stop by the band's Facebook page and say hi.
Canadian Karen Fowlie gives us one more free version of "Auld Lang Syne". Even at just over a minute, this is a sweet Alt Country toast to the old year. You can pick it up on Bandcamp. Karen also has a Christmas song, "Christmas Is Tomorrow", but that one's not free. It's also a bit more Indie Pop than Alt Country. "Christmas Is Tomorrow" can be purchased for $1 through Bandcamp. Or you can buy the four songs that make up "Single Releases" for $1.
But, really, what we're concerned with here is "Auld Lang Syne". And that one's free.
Ironically, "This Year" is from last year. One year ago today, to be precise. It's not the greatest New Year's song ever done. But it is different. And we like different here at Stubby's. Sort of an Indie Alt Rock Hip Hop thing. And I do like the part where the guy makes his resolutions and then admits he won't keep them, so let's forget all about 'em--especially that one about not drinking. Just a reminder: don't drink and drive. You'll find "This Year" by Noterock free on Bandcamp.
Ah, now that's what I'm talking about. Some fine holiday Indie Rock from London's My Tiger My Timing. Led by siblings Anna and James Vincent, My Tiger My Timing have their feet firmly planted on the ladder of stardom, now, and have to be considered "one to watch" in 2012. Get the free single "See You On New Year's Day" using the Soundcloud widget above or from the band's web site.
I need a break from "Auld Lang Syne" and "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" So here's a new Christian Pop/Rock band that dropped their holiday single a few short days before Christmas. Earth To Jupiter sing "Christmas Time Is Here" and, no, this isn't the over-covered Vince Guaraldi tune. It's also free at Bandcamp.
One of our favorite people around here is Nashville singer/songwriter Joel Rakes. Joel generally records a Christmas set every year and then gives it away until the New Year. You can still download all of Joel's past Christmas sets for a couple more days, at which time they'll go back into the attic with the Christmas decorations. But Joel didn't have time to record a new Christmas set this year (he was busy getting married). In lieu of that, he offered up all the past volumes. And he did record two versions of "Auld Lang Syne"--one upbeat and happy and one slow and sad. Choose the version that best suits your mood or the kind of year you had in 2011. You'll find "Auld Lang Syne" from Joel Rakes on Noisetrade and Bandcamp, though the Noisetrade download is likely to be around a bit longer. Joel is joined on the "happy" version by his sister Rebekah.
Do I know who Cait Black is? Haven't got a clue. But what I do know is that this is one of the prettiest new Indie Pop/Indie Folk versions of "Auld Lang Syne" you're likely to hear this year. Get it through Bandcamp. Too bad it's a mere minute and a half. Amazing what you can do with just a ukulele and a few human voices, isn't it?
The FREE List
Here we hope to direct you to some of the Christmas music on the web that can be yours absolutely free. We will not direct you to mp3 or sharity sites, here, but only to artist sites, label sites, and other authorized and unquestionably legal locations.