Christmas time may well be imminent, and the goose might verily be getting on the girthy side, but something has been missing from our hallowed winter festival the past few years: the worth-its-weight-in-solid-gold-vinyl Christmas Record.
London's fastest-rising indie label Highline Records is here to fill this festive chasm, with a whole compilation jam-packed with bona fide original Christmas classics-in-waiting, featuring a host of luminaries including Piney Gir, Art Brut's Eddie Argos, and The Real Tuesday Weld.
Says label head Heather Willensky, "I've been obsessed by Phil Spector's Christmas album since I was a youngster and thought it would be great to bring everyone in our Highline circle together to create something festive."
Kicking off with LA-based chanteuse Correatown's gentle, woozily joyous 'Christmas Time Is Here,' the album segues into an accordion-laced romp courtesy of the fantastically-monikered Skipple and the Pipples before settling on the ever-brilliant Piney Gir's 'Every Day's A Holiday', containing surely the finest Christmas riff since Slade gave Crimbo a firm glam boot up the derriere way back when.
Speaking of glam, Art Brut's rakish lynchpin Eddie Argos also makes an appearance on Festivus, as part of the stomping Glam Chops, whose mischievous offering conjures up images of a half-naked Santa dancing on his Lapland HQ desk, clutching a bottle of Harvey's Bristol Cream and singing raucously to The Sweet.
Jangling sleigh bells herald The Real Tuesday Weld's languid, jazzy 'Song Of December', while Hunks & Friends' 'The Magic Of Christmas' opens with the immortal whispered lines:
"Daddy, what's this?"
"It's a Christmas song!"
"But it sounds just like every other Christmas song…"
"That's the magic of Christmas!"
The Christmas magic of this compilation, of course, is that each song has very much its own character –and a most endearing one at that. FESTIVUS is not only here to bring back the lost art of the Christmas record, but also to take it to new levels of artistic merit and listener enjoyment.
FESTIVUS has been brought to you by Highline Records and Father Christmas, because you've been very good this year.