“Bah Humbug, no that’s too strong” declares Summer Camp’s Elizabeth Sankey on their take of ‘Christmas Wrapping’. But is it? For any slightly cynical listener the mere mention of a Christmas song, and the thought of hearing that Mariah Carey song AGAIN, is enough to bring out an otherwise deeply buried inner Scrooge.
But as A Christmas Gift For You is the latest in tastemaker record label Moshi Moshi’s series of compilations, and therefore more than just another go at a shallow Christmas cash in, it might just stand a chance of warming cold sceptic hearts.
Idiot Glee’s stripped down, spectral take on ‘White Christmas’ and Ingo Star Cruiser’s excitably youthful update of ‘Just Like Christmas’ give it a good shot; as does Summer Camp’s aforementioned The Waitresses cover – a lovely little moment as the rising stars shrug off their lo-fi sound in favour of festive synths. James Yuill takes a similar path, turning ‘Winter Wonderland’ into a ghostly electro hymn.
Sheffield’s Slow Club on the other hand offer a more traditional holiday hit with their infinitely likable take of ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ (hell, it’s a country mile better than U2’s version); but the added cheesiness of Christmas subject matter unfortunately pushes Hot Club de Paris’s offering into the territory of “a bit too twee.”
However, such flaws are quite definitive of A Christmas Gift To You, in the best way possible. It’s cheap, enthusiastic, disposable, a little hollow but above all just kind of nice, and if that’s not Christmas I don’t know what is.