‘Tis the season when everyone—from the neighborhood teens to your lola’s kumare’s daughter’s fundraising foundation—gets the chance to parade as a part-time singer. With such a motley mix of carolers given license to serenade irate homeowners every Christmas, can even cooler-than-thou hipsters jump on the caroling bandwagon?
FHM says hell to the yes! Beyond the tired old renditions of “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls” that plague us each December lies a goldmine of little-heard holiday-themed rock songs and quirky covers of Christmas classics that are hip enough to make even the cool kids convert to caroler-hood, taking their crocheted beanies and checkered scarves with them.
Below, our picks.
1) The carol: fun. – “Sleigh Ride”
The cool: The Grammy-nominated American band brings this cloyingly perky kindergarten carol to new—and arguably more tolerable—levels of electro-aided cool it has never known before.
The catch: No matter how much more hip this rendition is, you’ll still have to sing “Ring ting tingling” and “Giddy up giddy up giddy up let’s go” like you mean it.
2) The carol: Elastica – “Gloria”
The cool: The Britpop girl group may have disbanded over a decade ago, but their aggressive punk rock lashings will live on in '90s music fans’ collections forever. In this version of “Gloria,” Elastica spits and stomps on the immaculate veneer of the original, making it edgy enough to soundtrack a Guy Ritchie fight scene.
The catch: Try not to stay too faithful to Justine Frischmann’s singing style, unless you want homeowners to mistake you for wandering drunkards and unleash their dogs on you.
3) The carol: The Shins – “Wonderful Christmastime”
The cool: Fun, festive, and tinkling with tambourine, American jangle pop luminaries The Shins’ take on Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” is just what its name promises.
The catch: If you’re a fierce Macca fan, you should know that this sounds nothing like the synth-based original. But if it’s grandma and the kids you want to charm this Christmas, go with this crowd-pleaser.
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