Recapping the festive releases: Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Grimes and more

Never mind Slade on repeat … Miley Cyrus, the Weeknd and others have released songs this Christmas, filled with bongs, Bonds and broken hearts

It’s the Monday after Christmas – a full three days since your selfie sticks, Nutribullets and copies of 25 were delivered by Amazon Prime Father Christmas. If you’re already feeling fatigued with this year’s gift stash then firstly, check your privilege, then settle down to listen to some hot new tracks! As we are all now permanently plugged into our devices, the week of Christmas is no longer a time in which we disconnect from the digital hive, and thus there is no rest when it comes to music’s most hard-working either, as the brand new material which emerged over the festive period proved. Take a listen below.


Many of you will have seen Radiohead’s surprise Soundcloud upload: the band were asked to submit a song for the recent James Bond film Spectre, but “it didn’t work out”. As described on their website, the track instead “became something of our own, which we love very much”. A smoky, sophisticated and slowly unfurling interpretation on the Bond ballad, it certainly sounds like it took more than Sam Smith’s 20 minutes to create.

The Weeknd

Abel Tesfaye put out a seedy little surprise collaboration with Future on Christmas Day, a tightly stuffed stocking packed to the seams with parcels of Molly, Xanax and a portable stripper pole.

LCD Soundsystem

Something a little more festive came from the now defunct LCD Soundsystem. A sad song that James Murphy says had been going through his head “for the past eight years”. This year he and Hot Chip’s Al Doyle decided to finally record it, along with LCD’s original crew Pat Mahoney, Nancy Whang and Tyler Pope.

Listen to LCD Soundsystem’s Christmas Will Break Your Heart

Miley Cyrus

The sprawling 23-track epic that was Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz’ might have seemed like the gift that just kept on giving - and, as it turns out, there was in fact more from this studio session still to give! Over the festive period came My Sad Christmas Song, in which Cyrus laments her bad year, rips “another bong” and generally has a terrible time all alone. Well, as alone as you can be when you’re permanently surrounded by an entourage of dogs, pigs and Wayne Coyne.


New Age cyber-carol, anyone? A brief sketch of a song was released by Grimes on the 26 December, a ghostly, hymnal track dredged out from the Canadian musician’s archives.

Listen to Fifteen Minutes To by Grimes

Mac DeMarco

Perhaps most traditionally festive of all is Mac DeMarco’s cover of White Christmas, as illustrated on YouTube with a picture of Jar Jar Binks in a Santa hat. Sounds a bit like the Bing Crosby original as it slowly melts from the heat of a festive fireplace.

Listen to Mac DeMarco’s White Christmas

Last of all, Timbaland his new mixtape, King Stay King. As well as collaborations with Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and 2 Chainz, one previously unheard track - Shakin - features the ever-elegant vocals the late R&B pioneer, Aaliyah. You can stream it all here.


Harriet Gibsone

The GuardianTramp

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