Here at Grayowl Point we love Christmas. But sadly, every year we are subjected to the same schmaltzy Christmas music and frankly it drives us a little insane. Every year though, we manage to find several tracks by Canadian artists that make us like Christmas music again. This post is an attempt to round all of those songs up.
Joshua Hyslop- “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
In July we reviewed his Cold Wind EP and now he’s released a cover of this Christmas classic. He brings his trademark gentle vocals and good old acoustic guitar for a pleasant rendition.
Skydiggers- “Good King Wenceslas”
Yes, the legendary band themselves. Their harmonies are spot on and make this a beautiful cover. Download/listen
hue- “In December”
This song has been with the band for a few years and is just now being released as a free download on their Facebook page. It’s an original and is sure to inspire some warm fuzzies.
The 2011 Zunior Holiday Blender
A pretty interesting piece of work- (mostly) Canadian artists mix Christmas songs with other songs with interesting results. Featuring contributions from The Burning Hell and Dog is Blue among others. Purchase
Light Organ Records…With Bells On!
Light Organ Records…With Bells On! marks this Vancouver-based record label’s second fantastic holiday compilation. (In case you missed last year’s, do check out Light Organ Records: Our First Christmas, featuring songs from The Zolas and Aidan Knight + We Are The City.) With Bells On! is a great mix of holiday songs by all Canadian artists. Highlights include, Portage & Main’s “Little Hearts” and Dead Ghosts’ “Christmas Time.” Purchase
F&M- Winter is Coming: Songs of Winter and Christmas EP
This band seriously has all the bases covered within the confines of four songs. They’ve got the anti-Christmas carol, the traditional piano ballad, a sprawling full-band number and a haunting, slow Christmas song that will make you get all weepy. Recommended listening. It’s a name-your-price download via Bandcamp.
Bodhi Jones- “Little Drummer Boy”
The Vancouver artists makes an interesting impression on this holiday classic. And better yet, you can name your price for the song, with 50% of the proceeds going to The Province’s Empty Stocking Fun. Stream/download
Jesse and the Dandelions- “O Holy Night”
The Lethbridge, Alta. band brings the indie-rock treatment to a beautiful holiday carol. Stream
Ho Ho Ho Canada III
The Line of Best Fit presents another unbelievably spectacular bunch of tunes. There are songs by Les Breastfeeds, Malajube, Apollo Ghosts, The Wooden Sky, The Mountains & The Trees and so much more. More essential listening. And it’s free, so… No excuses. Download
Sound Vat’s If Jesus Had Been Born in Canada He Would Have Needed More Than Swaddling Clothes. It’s an epic compilation of 23 tracks by a bunch of young Canadian talent that includes several tracks already mentioned here, plus other artists like Cai.ro, Honheehonhee, Little City, Muskox and The Fires Of. If you’re only going to get one new Christmas album this year this is the one to get. Oh yeah, it’s also FREE. Download
The Barr Brothers – “Dear Mrs. Claus”
Montreal’s The Barr Brothers make an appearance on The 2011 Paste [Magazine] Christmas Sampler with a saucy ode to Mrs. Claus! Download/listen.
The Wilderness of Manitoba – “Three Carols”
Another OLD UGLY Christmas
This twenty-five song holiday compilations features the talents of numerous Canadian musicians, brought to you by the good people at OLD UGLY Recording Co. in Edmonton. Highlights include: Tyler Butler’s “Silent Night (In Edmonton)” and Bike Month’s, Doug Hoyer’s side-project, “Becoming Santa.” Download.