Search for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” on iTunes and you’ll see an endless array of interpretations of the 1984 Band Aid classic. And beginning today (with a 7” to follow in February), you’ll find perhaps the most exciting rendition of all time. The brainchild of post-hardcore innovators Fucked Up, the new version also features the vocal stylings of a shockingly stellar selection of musicians, including Yo La Tengo, GZA, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Bob Mould, Tegan & Sara, Andrew W.K., Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, David Cross and Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew. And in the grand “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” tradition, the band is looking out for the ladies: Fucked Up will donate all proceeds from the single to Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, DTES Power of Women Group and Sisters in Spirit.
Fucked Up’s track is the kind you’ll want to construct an entire holiday mix tape around. So, for inspiration, check out six more new, seasonal releases under the cut.
Camera Obscura – “The Blizzard” One of our favorite Scottish acts gives us a dreamy take on Jim Reeves’ somber, 1964 country Christmas standard.
Pet Shop Boys – Christmas EP Come December 15, the synth legends will release a new version of “It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas,” which appeared on their most recent album, Yes. Covers of Madness and Coldplay tracks, plus a few original Pet Shop Boys’ tracks, fill out the EP. Stream “It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas (New Version)”:
Julian Casablancas – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” The Strokes frontman covers… the cast of Saturday Night Live? Don’t worry: Casablancas’ goofy Christmas single, tricked out with scruffy garage-rock guitars, is more fun than you think.
Bob Dylan – Christmas in the Heart We’ve said all that needs to be said about Dylan’s creepy (but well-intentioned) holiday album — and the extra-weird video for “Must Be Santa.” But if you still haven’t seen the polka-licious clip, satisfy your prurient curiosity and take a look, already.
The Killers – “Happy Birthday Guadalupe” This Latin-flavored track is the Killers’ fourth annual holiday single to benefit the (RED) campaign’s work to fight global AIDS. For this year’s model, the band has enlisted help from Wild Light and Mariachi El Bronx, two groups they’ve been touring with. Oh, and did we mention that the music video for “Happy Birthday Guadalupe” stars none other than ’90s teen idol Luke Perry?
Scott Weiland – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” This just-released track by the Velvet Revolver/Stone Temple Pilots frontman has some history: Weiland first performed it in 2006, on Jay Leno’s show. Now, you can buy his take on the classic on iTunes or try to catch it on AOL’s Rock Holiday station.