Listening to these albums will subtly put you into the holiday spirit.
By Scott Wood, Staff Writer and Artist.
The holiday season is upon us once more, which can only mean one thing: being bombarded with festive music at every store and radio station. While this sentimental season holds a special place in the hearts of many, this special place is slowly being muscled out by the constant ringing of Mariah Carey.
So, without further ado, here are four honorary Christmas albums that will put you in a festive mood without explicitly bombarding you with sleigh bells or Santa Claus.
Locust Toybox: Drownscapes
While this UK-based electronic musician released Drownscapes on Halloween night, there is no denying that this ambient album has the holidays written all over it. Whether it be the heavily distorted choirs on the track “Unborn” or the warm, low-fidelity crackle of “Beehive Days,” it’s almost impossible not to imagine snow falling on Victorian-era London with every track.
Miracle Musical: Hawaii Part II
The name might imply a tropical paradise, but this psychedelic musical by Tally Hall frontman Joe Hawley evokes a certain, odd sense of festivity. The warm vocals on “Introduction to the Snow” and “Isle Unto Thyself” conjure up memories of Christmas crooners such as Irving Berlin and Bing Crosby, while the playful sleigh bells and harps on “Dream Sweet in Sea Major” harken back to The Nutcracker.
While the cover might convey a sense of summer, this minimalist electronic album has a kernel of nostalgic holiday memories at its core. With its bare, almost video game-like, sound, this album brings to mind childhood visions of playing in the snow or unwinding by the fire in the bygone era of the Gameboy on tracks such as “Sadpad” or “Snow Day.”
John Maus: We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves
No one can make nostalgia-driven music quite like John Maus, and on We Must Become…he mixes in his signature blend of synthpop with the faded sounds of Christmases past. His reverb-soaked tracks such as “Believer” and “Streetlight” bring to mind what it might sound like if Joy Division ever held a Christmas service, and his cover of “Hey Moon” brings about a certain calmness similar to that of “Silent Night.”