Today marks the start of what is by far, even with how streaming has skewed things in recent years, the most important date for avid watchers of the UK charts, as the battle to become the Christmas number one single for 2022 a week hence gets under way.
And whilst the charts have been full to the brim with golden oldie Christmas songs by the usual culprits (Mariah Carey, Wham etc) for the last month, it is still a feted celebration, and one which for better or worse, writes you into the annals of pop history forever more. Even if that has meant an almost total bogart of the title for four – and, if it goes his way a week today, quite possibly five – years on the trot by Mark Hoyle, aka YouTube vlogger LadBaby, who has reached number one with well meaning (the royalties raised goes to The Trussell Trust) but God awful songs centred around sausage rolls.
But if streaming Spotify’s Christmas playlists or hollering “Alexa, play Christmas music” at our devices every December is now the new norm, surely we should also be embracing this technology to give a push to the new and hopefully future festive favourites, as well as Saint Noddy Holder’s annual pension plan? To that end, we have pulled together a playlist of five more recent Christmas tunes that we rather feel deserve to become seasonal classics for years to come…
- OLLY MURS – Coming Off The Snow (The Miracle of Christmas)
We’ve only been nagging long standing friend of the blog Olly Murs since time (specifically, 2011 onwards) for him to do a Christmas album or original Christmas song of some description. Last Friday, as his latest album Marry Me soared to number one in the album chart, he quite literally did a Beyoncé, and dropped this on streaming and download. The title theme from the new Sky original film This Is Christmas (currently airing on Sky Cinema and NOW TV), “Coming Off The Snow” has been written by Elbow’s Guy Garvey, and is a gorgeously cockle warming, wistful and Spector-esque track that’s as delicious as mulled wine. If an album called Christ-Murs doesn’t follow this a year hence, we don’t know what will.
- LITTLE MIX – One I’ve Been Missing
Now see, even when they were some years away from their current hiatus, Little Mix had smart futureproofing heads on their glamorous shoulders. Co-written by the band’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock with some of their regular writers and producers (Tre Jean Marie, Jez Ashurst), by rights and given how big they still were when this beautiful 50s inspired ballad dropped in 2019, it should have been an easy contention for top 5 at least. Still, hopefully both this and also Boxing Day, the hilarious festive romcom that Leigh-Anne starred in last year (it’s out on DVD and streaming now, and we would highly recommend) will prove to be giving them all the Christmas coin and recognition in years to come.
- ANDREA CORR – In The Bleak Midwinter
First released two years ago during the height of the pandemic as part of a four track EP called Christmas Songs, to raise money for a palliative care hospice in Dublin, Andrea, of the million selling family band The Corrs has now subsequently fleshed out the original EP to a full album, also called Christmas Songs, on which this, her take on one of the oldest and most beautiful traditional carols, appears. Delicately arranged, with the crispness of a winter walk at dusk, it is a gentle oasis of calm that deserves good positioning on your playlists for when you need a self care break.
- WHYTE HORSES – Next Year Will Be Mine
Calling to mind both The Waitresses‘ evergreen “Christmas Wrapping” and Darlene Love’s “All Alone On Christmas”, as if sung by Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell, Mancunian indie band Whyte Horses released this impossibly cheery and classically indebted sounding number in 2018, with a message that lyrically resonates for those of us who can sometimes find the festive season a little overwhelming, whilst looking forward with hope as the end of another year approaches: “I haven’t felt myself in a while / I’m looking for a way to turn a frown to a smile / Perhaps next year / The stars will shine upon me / Next year will be mine”.
- EMMA BUNTON – Coming Home For Christmas
Released to tie in with a special solo Christmas show she did at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019 – which she is now currently touring in theatres across the UK as we write this – Emma has of course been on three consecutive Christmas number ones with the Spice Girls, so it’s safe to say the Spice they call Baby knows how to deliver a Christmas cracker of a tune, as she yearns for her lover whilst the spirit of the season is all around her: “Snow is falling / Christmas morning / And I’m without you / Choirs are singing / Bells are ringing / And I’m without you / But I’m coming home for Christmas / Coming home for Christmas / Coming home for Christmas
So wait for me”.
What current or past Christmas songs do you think need more seasonal appreciation? Do you agree with our choices? Listen to our full Christmas Future Classics playlist above on Spotify, then Tweet us or message us on Instagram using the hashtag #ChristmasFutureClassics.