By Rob Crozier
December 16, 2013
With the seasonal clicking of the online shop in full swing you may have missed the yearly deluge of Christmas music that’s pumped out from every shop and bar.
If the threat of hearing Slade’s Christmas classic one more time is just too much to contemplate help is at hand. Those lovely people at For Folk’s Sake have once again ensured there is more variety on offer in the shape of their annual Christmas compilation. Based loosely in the folk tradition the label has gathered together a collection of artist with all the proceeds going to a good cause. The charity is Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors without Borders, which is a French humanitarian-aid organization, known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries.
Patch & The Giant starts things off with a rousing rendition of the Christmas carol ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’. Almost instantly we start to feel the weight of seasonal stress dissipate. Christmas music has always had some great material if you are prepared to dig a little deeper than the endless NOW compilations. This collection brings many well know carols with new interpretations for those unable to digest new Christmas material. However two of the finest tracks on the album feature new music; the first in the shape of ‘Gondwanaland’ by Stornoway. This is an acoustic number with some magical seasonal lyrics; “Saw you slip on the icy street, and I smiled accidentally“, which is followed by “you swore at the ice and you swore at me“.
‘Santa says Relax’ by Joe Innes goes even further and brings wonderful lyricism with a fantastic sense of humour regarding the perils of the Christmas season. The entire track makes you glow with seasonal cheer and produces a wry smile as you attack those crowded shops.
“Stressing out right now with all the shopping left to do…and I just wanna go home and watch Die Hard 2“
It’s clear that this will strike home with many, and encapsulates for some what is now a very real modern-day Christmas experience. There are more serious contributions with the beautiful renditions of Alessi’s Ark ’Joy to the World’ which again takes a traditional carol and gives it a modern makeover. This along with Left With Pictures’ ‘The Coldest Night’ ensures that the whole album is nicely balanced with modern and traditional tales of Christmas past and present.
‘Winter Coat’ by Dark Dark Dark continues to deliver modern tales of Christmas life and ‘At Your Door’ by Jessie Moncrieff is a beautiful soulful number which highlights the emotional need of wanting to spend this time of year with loved ones.
Laish‘s version of ‘Silentish Night’ changes the style slightly to a distorted rendition of the classic. The track has a wonderful growling tension underneath the whole record which at times feels it could explode at any time.
If you’re looking for an alternative gift for the Muso in your life you could do a lot worse than buy this album, and hey, it’s all for charity as well.
It’s Christmas 2013 is available to buy here.