Christmas is looming and we thought we would try our best this year not to be too scrooge like. With a jolly hurrah, we thought a festive round up was appropriate. We have brought together a selection of tracks, some originals, some covers put together by Northern Irish artists. Alas, 12 Songs of Christmas Via Northern Ireland. From all of us at Chordblossom, we wish you a very merry Christmas!
►Ciaran Lavery – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Recorded as part of his new Live at the MAC album, recorded last year, this Christmas classic is really suited to Lavery’s distinctive voice and comes together with a beautiful string accompaniment.
►Rory Nellis – Midwinter Festival
Slade, Wham, Chris Rea, Shakin Stevens and co have the Christmas playlist pretty much sewn up so how do you break into that exclusive club? Rory Nellis may just have the answers. A descending major scale, a bass line straight from ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ and of course lyrics laced with melancholy make this one to put in the keep rather than forget pile.
►Sonja Sleator – Christmas Time In This Town
It is a bold move for your debut single to be a Christmas song, but thankfully the gamble has paid off for Belfast songwriter, Sonja Sleator. Her soothing voice is supplemented by the standard bells and jingles associated with the time of year to great effect. You can purchase the track from her justgiving page where proceeds from the sale of the single will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society.
►Trucker Diablo – We’re Gonna Rock This Christmas
Those bad lads from Trucker Diablo have been rocking round the country over the last few years but have still found time to put together a Christmas anthem. Laced with riffs and a catchy chorus as is their trademark, ‘We’re Gonna Rock This Christmas’ should have you rocking round the Christmas tree.
►Sarah McGuinness – Christmas Everyday
Derry’s Sarah McGuinness throws her Christmas original into the mix. An upbeat track with a chorus of “No More Sad Songs” to remind us that although Christmas can be a tough time, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic for the New Year. Amen to that.
►Robyn G Shiels – Last Christmas
Specially recorded for BBC Across the Line’s Christmas special, Robyn G Shiels puts a typically pensive spin on Wham’s Christmas classic. The Kilrea songwriter adds no fancy bells or whistles, just a stripped back acoustic version putting all the attention on those lyrics.
►Jason Clarke – Merry Christmas Everyone
How do you re-work the Shakin’ Stevens classic, Merry Christmas Everyone, well Jason Clarke has the answer…Wheel a piano into the centre of Belfast in the dead of night and perform a beautiful stripped back version.
►Owen Denvir – O Holy Night
Not content with putting out exquisite material of his own, Mr Denvir has had quite a successful year with his mash-up cover versions of popular songs. This time round we are treated to a ukulele infused take on the well known Christmas Carol, ‘O Holy Night’.
►Tempest Fugitives – Late One Night (A Christmas Tale)
Tempest Fugitives are normally known for their groovy rock numbers but they have taken things up a notch on their original Christmas release. They have blown the budget and brought in some piano, jingly bells and a rather grand sounding choir that make it as festive release to remember.
►Lauren Bird – Christmas Time
Our favourite ukulele wielding musician penned, recorded and produced the rather quaint ‘Christmas Time’ while prepping for her debut album. The result is a dainty but charmig ode to a favourite holiday that is only let down by a reference to Harry Styles on Lauren’s wish list…
►Sullivan & Gold – In The Bleak Midwinter
Feeling in the mood for something more wistful and pensive than what we’ve offered so far? Have a listen to this stunning version of In The Bleak Midwinter from Sullivan & Gold released through Smalltown America in advance of their special Christmas show.
►Hannah McPhillimy – Silent Night/Love Actually
Our festive round up comes to a close with an exquisite live session recorded by Hannah McPhillimy and Lizzy Donaghy for us back in 2014. A beautiful rendition of Silent Night mixed with the Love Actually theme song, that we will never get tired of hearing.