2012 saw everyone from eternally moody Mercury Prize winners The xx to relentlessly cheerful Swedish synth-pop sextet Alphabeat attempt to stamp their mark on the festive season by releasing new Christmas songs. Here’s a look at five dance/electronica artists who are hoping to do the same in 2013.
Erasure – “Gaudete”
Synth-pop veterans Erasure were never going to record a conventional Christmas album, and alongside a surreal chiptune reworking of Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song” and a warped electro take on “White Christmas,” this darkly gothic blend of Gregorian chants, tubular bells and booming disjointed beats perfectly encapsulated the “dark side of the holidays” intentions of the wonderfully strange Snow Globe.
Sky Ferreira – “Omanko”
Highly unlikely to be played around anyone’s dinner table come the big day, this nonsensical ode to a Japanese Christmas sees the hipster-pop starlet dish out a string of Oriental-themed mutterings over an abrasive feedback-drenched mix of scuzzy guitars and industrial electronica more suited to Halloween than the season of goodwill.
The Retrobot – “Christmas Robot”
Produced by Mike Stock, one-third of the hit factory behind Kylie Minogue’s early hits, The Retrobot’s debut single is definitely the most bizarre contender for this year’s coveted UK Christmas number one spot. A highly irritating but insanely catchy novelty number which makes PSY’s “Gangnam Style” sound like Radiohead, “Christmas Robot” will no doubt have driven everyone crazy long before December 25th.
Orbital – “Christmas Chime”
One of the more unlikely candidates to get involved with the holiday season, pioneering techno duo Orbital attempt to get everyone raving around the Christmas tree by adding sleigh bells to their 1990 debut single, “Chime.” Accompanied by a trippy video which sees the Hartnell brothers’ faces superimposed onto various elves, reindeers and disco dancers, it’s all slightly absurd, but hugely enjoyable nonetheless.
Gent & Jawns – “Turn Up Ye Merry Gentlemen”
Possibly even more surreal is in-demand producer Diplo & Mad Decent’s yuletide compilation, A Very Decent Christmas, which gives various seasonal standards a unique speaker-blasting twist. Gent & Jawn’s crazed reworking of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” which adds some ho-hoing Santas, trap music bleeps and hip-hop beats to the traditional carol, is possibly the most deranged.