Listen to Christmas Underground’s 2022 Mix Featuring Mainly Obscure Indie Rock Christmas Songs

Dec 22, 2022

By Mark Redfern


Jim Goodwin of the Christmas Underground blog is back with this year’s indie rock Christmas mix, this year titled Jolly Chubby Elf. Every year for more than a decade Goodwin puts together an annual mix of indie rock Christmas songs, handing out free burned CDs to friends and also posting it online via Mixcloud and Christmas Underground. This year’s mix features some recognizable names, such as Phoebe Bridgers, Hans Pucket, SASAMI, Dr. Dog, and Dent May, but there are also plenty of more obscure artists too (Christmas Aguilera anyone). Every mix’s cover art features a parody of a different Belle and Sebastian album, EP, or single cover, all featuring Goodwin in a Santa hat. This year’s cover art (see above) was inspired by the cover of Belle and Sebastian’s 2006 single “Funny Little Frog” and it also features Goodwin’s wife Kelsey. Check out the 2022 mix below.

We asked Goodwin to comment on this year’s mix and here’s what he had to say: “This past year has been one of uncertainty. Every vacation or concert ticket was planned or purchased with the knowledge that a sniffle might torpedo your plans at the last minute. A year that could have been a return to normality felt a little more fatalistic than anticipated. This year’s mix could have quickly become more melancholy than years past, but I did my best to defy that urge. From the ‘emotional comedy music’ of the leadoff track, ‘A Christmas Shortcut,’ to the odd and beautiful closer of Maxwell Farrington’s, ‘Feel My Nose,’ this mix doesn’t want you to feel too settled in your expectations. The mix contains many wonderful approaches to what is often a formulaic genre, such as Bird Friend’s tale of love and larceny (‘Christmas Song’) and Wicketkeeper’s straightforward and perfect ‘Ho Ho It’s Christmas Again.’ Some bands go big, such as Elliot Maginot and his epic ’80s production on ‘I’ll Know My Savior (Christmas All Around)’ and Wake Up and Smell the Sun’s gorgeous anthem, ‘The Tearful Joy of Joyful Noise.’ Of course, I had to pay tribute to Low’s Mimi Parker, who passed in November. Housewife’s cover of ‘Just Like Christmas’ tweaks the perfection of the Low original to create one of the best versions I’ve ever encountered. I’d be remiss not to mention the prevalence of French-Canadian Christmas songs, with the incredible Julie Aubé and Mirabelle sending me to Google Translate with their fabulous French indie pop. I began a deep dive into Quebec and New Brunswick this year, and have been amazed by the stellar Christmas music they have been making up there. Discovering new veins of fantastic Christmas music is incredibly exciting, and hopefully, there is something on Jolly Chubby Elf that listeners might want to delve deeper into too.”

Goodwin launched Christmas Underground in 2012. “The premise of the blog was not just to talk up bands that I like, because many of the bands I like put out terrible Christmas songs, but to specifically try to find great songs from smaller bands,” Goodwin previously explained to us in regards to 2018’s mix. “I’m not interested in Eric Clapton’s Christmas record…the site is really meant for great, lesser-known bands.”

Goodwin first started making his Christmas mixes when he was working at the Record Exchange in Roanoke, VA and all the employees agreed to trade Christmas mixes. Each of Goodwin’s mixes includes both current Christmas songs and ones from previous years.

Christmas Mix 2022: Jolly Chubby Elf Tracklist:

1. Hot Dad – A Christmas Shortcut
2. Dent May – I’ll Be Stoned for Christmas
3. Hans Pucket – I Don’t Know What to Get You for Christmas (Do I Really Love You?)
4. Everett Darling – Pictures 1-3
5. Phoebe Bridgers – So Much Wine
6. Bird Friend – Christmas Song
7. Housewife – Just Like Christmas (Low Cover)
8. Neil Brogan – christmas (with a small c)
9. Julie Aubé – Ça c’est Noël
10. La Battue – XMAS
11. CASTLEBEAT – Wish
12. Mirabelle – Le ciel était blanc
13. SASAMI – It’s You
14. Elliot Maginot – I’ll Know My Savior (Christmas All Around)
15. Dr. Dog – Ebenezer Scrooge
16. Worn-Tin Happy – Christmas
17. The Pooches – New Years
18. Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else – Here Comes the Snow
19. Christmas Aguilera – Once Upon a Time
20. Wicketkeeper – Ho Ho It’s Christmas Again
21. The Bug Club – Christmas Lullaby
22. Wake Up and Smell the Sun – The Tearful Joy of Joyful Noise
23. Maxwell Farrington – Feel My Nose

Support Under the Radar on Patreon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *