‘Tis the season etc, and no end of Christmas adverts, and now playlists as well. Still, there is always room to be different. I’m not saying I am the first to associate Christmas songs with a Hawaiian slinky guitar sound, I am not, but it’s the sub-genre I’ve come to appreciate the most at this, erm, wonderful time of the year. And I believe, this is the ONLY playlist out there to gather together a collection of both old and new Christmas songs in which the slinky slide guitar is the star, and the mood is a distinctly Hawaiian brand of melancholy (i.e. quite cheerfully reflective).
I’ve been building this playlist for years. I always loved the Hawaiian classics, like Mele Kalikimaka, Bobby Helms’ Jingle Bell Rock and Elvis’s Blue Christmas (it seems to count). But I am also a big Aimee Mann fan, and a few years ago, her christmas album (she was early to the trend of artists making ‘holiday’ records so fair play, Aimee) had slide guitar central to almost every track, and it got me very hooked (cough, apologies). Then a few years later, Kacey Musgraves did the same thing, and both these albums are just the best recently recorded xmas albums, so you should save and play them both every year as I try to do. They feature heavily here: it’s really Aimee, Kacey and guests.
There is just so much Christmas music now, December is almost not long enough to get all the listening in, let along the eating and drinking! But I do insist, not a faint note of xmas songs in my house until December the 1st - that is a hard and fast rule. I’ve become adept at ignoring the whole pre-Christmas hysteria before actual December - it’s ridiculous to hear seasonal songs in coffee shops in bloody early November. This playlist definitely helps cut through all the options for xmas songs. I have another family xmas party playlist as well, which I’m yet to edit into a state worth sharing.
Now, a last note...I know not every track on this playlist fits the Hawaiian mood. But, you know, it’s Christmas. And the odd liberty here and there is allowed, right?
That said, twang away on the slack key guitar and get merry blue this xmas, or every xmas. Is it cold outside? I don't think so, not in Hawaii, it isn't. Kacey Musgraves, Aimee Mann & friends agree...the presents this year sit under the palm tree.
Ps. If you are an Aimee Mann fan or indeed, so far uninitiated, you can also check out my “Aimee Cure The Mann” playlist on Spotify.