‘Tis the month of Sufjan Stevens (fa la la la lah la la la la).
I love Christmas music. It’s a time of year when the cheese barometer in my home frequently hits 11 with Herb Alpert, Geoff Love and even The Partridge Family hitting the turntable. And you can’t beat a bit of punk rock atheism, either. Frank Sidebottom’s deranged version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful cracks me up, and Gruff Rhys’ Slashed Wrists This Christmas bears a message we can all relate to. This year Future of the Left sing “Liberate your children from presents, Sabrina. We could burn the gift wrap and that will keep them warm” in The Real Meaning of Christmas. It’s enough to scare the reindeer! But my most favourite Christmas music since 2007 is Sufjan Stevens’ Songs For Christmas box set. It veers from the sublime (Sister Winter) to the sardonic (Did I make You Cry on Christmas Day? Well You Deserved It) and I never tire of it. And of course last year he added to that five disc box set with another six disc bonanza – Silver and Gold. Think Christmas is all about the Bing? Well it is, but bloody nora, there’s a whole other world of Christmas music out there too, and it’s worth exploring.