It seems everyone’s now getting into the Christmas song game each year, which means a lot more twists on traditional themes. Here are some of the best Canadian entries for 2021.
Arkells – The Last Christmas (We Ever Spend Apart)
Release Date: Nov. 4
Label: Universal Music Canada
Do the Arkells ever rest? Apparently not. They were everywhere this year, so why not add a new Christmas song to their to-do list. It’s a good one though, with a soaring, Beatles-esque melody and some well-written lyrics about hopefully putting the generally miserable Christmas of 2020 behind us.
Hawksley Workman – Indie Rock Christmas
Release Date: Dec. 10
Label: Isadora Records
The title pretty much says it all, as Workman lays out a wish list for Santa that includes a Stratocaster, a lifetime subscription to the NME and backstage passes to Glastonbury. If only if were that easy.
Lee Aaron – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
Release Date: Nov. 26
Label: Metalville Records
She’s been spending more of her time singing jazz in recent years, but Canada’s Metal Queen can still show off her rock chops whenever necessary. Aaron certainly sounds fired up on this irresistible power pop offering that is sure to get the little ones pogo-ing around the tree.
Bahamas – Christmas Highway
Release Date: Dec. 3
Label: Brushfire Records/Universal Music Canada
Borrowing the framework of Neil Young’s Unknown Legend, Afie Jurvanen spins a heartwarming tale of Santa’s own legend. Guaranteed to make you smile.
PIQSIQ – Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy
Release Date: Nov. 19
Visionary Inuit duo PIQSIQ continues its annual Christmas single series with this powerful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s classic. Sisters Inuksuk Mackay and Tiffany Ayalik say it has been among their top favourite holiday songs since they first attended The Nutcracker Ballet in Ottawa as children.
TANDM – Warm Me Up
Release Date: Nov. 17
This Toronto-based indie-pop duo consisting of Thomas Franklin and Maxine Beck-Sinderby have come up with a delightful electronic twist on the seasonal single with this song about finding warmth in the company of others.
Mallory Chipman – Different This Christmas
Release Date: Dec. 3
Alberta singer-songwriter Mallory Chipman has performed everything from jazz to, most recently, progressive rock on her album Aquarian with her band the Mystics. This year she offers her first Celtic-tinged Christmas song, written for anyone who will be missing a loved one.
Andrew Hyatt – Santa Is A Good Ole Boy
Release Date: Nov. 11
Label: 604 Records
Here’s one for the country music fans. Up-and-comer Hyatt does a nice job placing Santa in the world of pick-up trucks and six-packs. I’ll set aside my cynicism about country songwriting clichés and just say this track is fun and has the potential to be a perennial favourite.
Ali & Theo – My Grown Up Christmas List
Release Date: Nov. 10
Label: Slaight Music
Ali Slaight and Theo Tams clearly love this time of year. My Grown Up Christmas List is, incredibly, their 11th seasonal single release, but when two voices meld together this well, why not make it an annual tradition?
Skydiggers – Good King Wenceslas
Release Date: 2017
Label: Fontana North
No, this isn’t new. But it’s my favourite Christmas carol, done perfectly by some of my favourite people. One I always come back to, and I hope you will too.