Ahead of The Standon Calling Christmas Party on 13 December, the artists playing are sharing their Christmas playlists with us. First up, The Modern Strangers let us know what they’ll be listening to this festive season.

The War On Drugs – Holding On
The best way to start a playlist, festive or not. The whole album is great, but this is the track that introduced me to it. The song is so bittersweet and the brilliance in it’s avoidance of a break really moves the song along.

Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You
Speaks for itself really. Actually a song we totally forgot about until it popped up on my Spotify shuffle last month. It has that instant start, just gets on with it. We tried out a similar trick with our song ‘Margarita’.

Archie Bell & The Drells – Strategy
Disco classic. Another song that has no pauses in momentum. It drives the whole way through with an incredible baseline and groove. Our band formed through a love of songs like this.

Park Hotel – Going West
First heard this song at a party. Someone was playing it on a bluetooth speaker. We were instantly hooked to it. A few months later we were writing in a studio in Hackney and realised they were working in there too. Turns out we have the same booker! Watched them live a few weeks later. Great new band.

Childish Gambino – Redbone
I challenge anyone to put this on and not get at least one positive reaction. It’s a modern day classic in our opinion. If your parties going downhill chuck this on to avoid the taxis turning up. I remember Archie & I first heard this in a pub and stood weirdly near the speakers so our Shazam could pick it up over the boozy conversations.

Tei Shi – How Far
One of our favourite songs of 2017. It starts off as a slow burner and builds into an epic. The riff could almost be something off of Arctic Monkeys ‘AM’. Amazing synths and vocals throughout.

Julian Casablancas – I Was It Was Christmas Today
A pretty good cover from The Strokes lead singer. And as far as Christmas song goes, it’s spot on. The song sounds like it could easily be a First Impressions of The Earth album track. It came out around the same time as his debut solo album, which is also a favourite of ours. In the words of Phil Mitchell ‘Pour me another one barmaid’.

The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
Has to be one the best basslines on a Christmas song in the business? Another tune that could pass as one of their album tracks but works as a festive song too.

Bee Gees – If I Can’t Have You
The Gibb brothers should feature on all playlists. So many hits. This one has one of our favourite choruses they’ve done. Another song that just drives through the whole and then hits with a massive chorus.

MGMT – Little Dark Age
To us this feels like the most ‘pop’ MGMT have been in awhile. We’ve always been a big fan of them, especially their second album. When I first heard ‘Little Dark Age’ it felt really reminiscent of a few Australian groups such as PNAU & Cut Copy (which is a good thing!).

The Chemical Brothers – Go
Massive song. The bass and vocal combo give it that secret ingredient . You can play it at 4pm or 4am and it still hits you with equal ferocity.

Mura Masa feat. Damon Albarn – Blu
The perfect end of the night song. If you’ve been a bit busy with the whiskey and mince pies then this is the perfect song to wrap up an evening. Damon Albarn’s vocal is excellent on it too, a perfect feature/collaboration.


The Standon Calling Christmas Party takes place on 13 December at The Lexington
The Modern Strangers, Jodie Abacus and Average Sex will play. More –

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa, 22. Editor. Student, music journalist, probably talking about Blur or Bowie