Psychedelic Lights of Christmas art

A psychedelic mix just in time for Christmas! There's not much I need to say about this that the title doesn't already tell you. All I will say is, on playing it through, I noticed it's kind of an odd blend of cheerful and sinister – but hey, that seems apt for Christmas! It's named for a song by The Smoking Trees from the superb Active Listener Christmas Album from 2012. (A name-your-price download on Bandcamp, it's well worth grabbing). Oddly, I only noticed after compiling this that there are quite a few tracks from 2012, for some reason. Apparently that year was a fine vintage for Christmas psych!

When I started collecting songs for this mix, I thought I would struggle to find maybe a dozen relevant tracks. But I ended up with a shortlist of over 80 tracks (lots left over for future mixes, hopefully!). It helps that I'm a little loose with the definition of 'psychedelic' – I like to include kind of woozy, experimental, generally mind-bending or gently trippy stuff as well as the more traditional guitar-based psychedelia. Still, I'm surprised how much quality music I found that fit the bill. There are links in the tracklist to some of the albums and comps these came from, so please check them out, especially if you love untraditional Christmas music as much as I do.

This is a bit last minute once again, but I hope you get a chance to play it Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. If you have any other favourite songs in the Christmas psychedelic genre, I'd love to hear what they are – please leave a comment or let me know on Twitter.

Thanks for continuing to visit my blog, and here's hoping I get back to updating it more in the new year! Have a wonderful Christmas!

Tracklist (Hide details)

  1. Green Seagull - First Snow Of Winter (2018)
  2. Their Christmas single last year as part of the fantastic Snowflake Christmas Singles Club. Their version of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman' on the B-side is well worth a listen, too!
  3. He 5 - White Christmas (1969)
  4. From the Merry Christmas EP by this South Korean 60s band. (I don't own this and I'm not sure which blogger shared this rip originally, but if you know, leave a comment so I can credit them).
  5. Saturday's Children - Christmas Sounds (1966)
  6. Gorgeous 60s sunshine pop from Chicago. Their recordings were reissued as double EP set by Sundazed in 1997.
  7. The Smoking Trees - The Psychedelic Lights of Christmas (2012)
  8. The Galaxies - Christmas Eve (1965)
  9. From the cult classic Merry Christmas album featuring The Galaxies, The Wailers and The Sonics.
  10. Quintron & Miss Pussycat - Jingle Bell Rock (2013)
  11. From Cleopatra Records' Psych-Out Christmascomp.
  12. The Zephyr Bones - Carol of the Bells (2016)
  13. Christmas single from this excellent Spanish neo-psych outfit.
  14. Jimi Hendrix - Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne (Extended Version) (1969)
  15. These instrumental recordings from 1969 were first released in 1974 on the ... And A Happy New Year EP. This extended medley appeared on a 1999 version of the release (renamed Merry Christmas And Happy New Year.
  16. Sufjan Stevens - Christmas Woman (2012)
  17. I don't know if any modern artist has recorded as many original Christmas songs as Sufjan Stevens. This is taken from his second, large volume of Christmas songs, 2012's Silver & Gold
  18. Les Chantels - Noël étrange (1965)
  19. A track from one of my favourite Christmas releases, Noëls dans le vent ..., which features several Québecois 60s garage bands doing original holiday tunes. My 60s Francophone Christmas mix from a few years back features a couple more tracks from this.
  20. Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra - O Little Town of Bethlehem (2007)
  21. From A Very Ping Pong Christmas: Funky Treats from Santa's Bag, another festive season must-listen!
  22. Caetano Veloso - In The Hot Sun Of A Christmas Day (1971)
  23. From Veloso's third self-titled album, recorded in London, after being exiled .from Brazil ...
  24. Poodleplay Arkestra - The Heavenly Tea Dance (2012)
  25. Superbravo - La Nuit (2019)
  26. Another single from the Snowflake Christmas Singles Club, this time from Parisian-based trio Superbravo.
  27. Parenthetical Girls - Carol Of The Season (2006)
  28. Originally from A Paranthetical Girls Family Christmas, this is taken from their 2010 compilation of Christmas songs over the years, Christmas.
  29. The Tara Experiment - Everywhere it's Christmas (2013)
  30. Geraldo Chimera - Intermission/6 Minutes, 5 Golden Rings (excerpt) (2012)
  31. Just a small sampling here, the original track is over six minutes of this, which makes for a pretty interesting sonic experience. From the comp COAL: An Experimental Christmas (free download).
  32. X-Ray Pop - Christmas Pop (1988)
  33. Some of my favourite weird Christmas stuff comes from this underrated French underground act. Originally released in 1988, this is taken from the Finders Keepers collection of the band's Christmas and winter-themed songs, Xmas Pop
  34. Slow Club - Silent Night (2009)
  35. From the Sheffield duo's Christmas, Thanks For Nothing EP.
  36. Lowell George & The Factory - Candy Cane Madness (1967)
  37. 60s band helmed by the later founder of Little Feat. Credit to something called Fuzz, Acid & Mistletoe: Christmas In The Garage that I found lurking in my files. Not sure if this is a real release or a blogger-compiled collection, as any info about it online is long gone.
  38. Firebreather - Peppermint Delight (2010)
  39. I don't know anything about this band. This is from a joint release with the band Candy Claws, called Warm Forever, so I gather they are a related project to that band.
  40. The Wailers - She's Comin' Home (1965)
  41. Another gem from Merry Christmas
  42. Jon Davis - Psychedelic Christmas (2019)
  43. From Green Monkey Records' latest holiday release, Hail The Jolly Christmas Monkey: GMR Xmas the Tenth. This is a solo effort from a member of the bands Zhongyu and Super Z Attack Team.
  44. The Buck Rogers Movement - Do Christmas Trees Really Grow? (1967)
  45. Another obscure 60s track found on the mystery comp mentioned above, Fuzz, Acid & Mistletoe
  46. Juniore - De saison (2015)
  47. Brilliant Christmas single from French female band Juniore, one of the best acts around at the moment, again from the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. The B-side is a fantastic French cover of Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas' that is definitely worth checking out, too!
  48. Caeto Moon - Silent Night (2012)
  49. The Raveonettes - Come On Santa (2008)
  50. From the Danish stalwarts' beautiful EP 'Wishing You A Rave Christmas', one of my favourite Christmas releases of all time.
  51. Candy Claws - Christmas Love (2010)
  52. This Colorado band, now known as Sound Of Ceres, recorded some very pretty, 60s-ish Christmas songs on the cosy Warm Forever
  53. Thin Gaze - "..." Night (2012)
  54. From the Whiteout compilation, put together by Crystal Dorval of White Poppy. (Free download).
  55. Seafang - Happy When It Snows (2017)
  56. More gold from the Snowflake Christmas Singles Club, a shoegazey treat from this ensemble from Florida.
  57. Elephant Stone - Christmas Time (Is Here Again) (2013)
  58. This Beatles cover from Canada's Elephant Stone is also from Psych-Out Christmas
  59. Modular - El Viaje Mágico De Santa Claus (2012)
  60. This Argentian duo makes bubbly, retrofuturistic pop and this Christmas song is an absolute delight, in good company on A Christmas Gift For You From Elefant Records.
  61. The Free Design - Close Your Mouth (It's Christmas) (1968)
  62. One of the best Christmas pop songs ever, from the legendary New York sunshine pop vocal group. Released as a promo single in 1968, it was included as a bonus track on Light In The Attic's reissue of You Could Be Born Again
  63. Balduin - Through The Snow (2012)
  64. He 5 - Silver Bells (1969)
  65. Rounding out the mix with another instrumental track from the Korean band's Merry ChristmasEP.
Psychedelic Lights of Christmas album covers collage

Comments (2)

  • Bags  
    Hi there!
    Missed this before Christmas so I will have to wait till Christmas 2020 to play it! Glad you are blogging again!

    • Christine  
      Christmas music any time of year, I say! Thanks for the comment, and a Happy New Year to you :)

Add Comment

* = Required field. Email address will not be displayed and is never shared.
BBCode format allowed.

Comments are subject to moderation before being displayed.