11 original Christmas songs with a Singaporean spin: Subsonic Eye, Corrinne May, Haneri, Clement Chow, and more

11 original Christmas songs with a Singaporean spin: Subsonic Eye, Corrinne May, Haneri, Clement Chow, and more

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Magical Christmas decorations deck the halls, trees glimmer with lights and dazzling ornaments, joyful Christmas music is blasted from every speaker in the background of malls as shoppers make their way through Christmas lists. As others around the world wish for a White Christmas, Singaporeans are mostly content and accustomed to winter's next best thing – the cuddle weather with lots of rain. 

However, no Christmas is complete without festive tunes that add the extra oomph to the holidays. Hear65 rounds up a list of 10 original Christmas tunes produced and performed by our very own homegrown artists. 

From tracks by indie-pop band, Subsonic Eye, to vintage songbird, Miss Lou, and the angelic voice of Corrinne May, these delightful melodies are sure to put even the greatest Grinch in the holly, jolly mood. 

Clement Chow - Lights of December

Originally written and recorded by music veteran, Clement Chow, back in 1994, the holiday special is getting a fresh makeover with this acapella remake perfectly harmonised by Alemay Fernendez, Beverly Morata Grafton, Jordin Tan, Richard Jackson, Clement Chow and Benjamin Chow who was also the spoken word artist of this song. The uplifting track prompts reflection upon the past challenging year while also featuring comforting lines such as “It’s the time of year, we’ll bring you some cheer, it’s been a hard year, you know.”

Haneri, Northwoods - I love you, Christmas

Singaporean pop songstress, Haneri, has joined forces with the American musician, Northwoods, on this romantic Christmas duet. Perfectly suited for our rainy holiday spent with loved ones, this track reminds listeners of all the love around us during the holidays, as the dreamy chorus goes, "Say I love you, something about the holidays remind me I love you, and of all the ways you make me change for the better". A track for all lovebirds and romantics alike, this track sets quite the relaxing ambience for a cosy Christmas date that leaves your heart feeling all warm and fuzzy.

Peace, Love & Mistletoe - inch

Brushing aside the jingly and occasional sombre tunes that habitually fall over us during Christmas season, inch delivers a warm and soothing 'Peace, Love & Mistletoe' that makes us want to huddle near a fireplace with beloved family and friends. With her expertise deeply rooted in acoustic and folk subgenres, the singer-songwriter weaves in mellow guitar fingerpicking with her tender vocals, alongside soft harmonies and faint whistling. It's a Christmas song that celebrates life itself, and the most important things one should appreciate as the year comes to an end.

NyaLi - Xmas This Year - Covid Edition

As the title suggests, this track is probably all too relatable for many of us that spent most of the year in quarantine. Before the song transitions to jazzy and joyful beats, NyaLi croons familiar words in her signature sultry vocals, “Wash your hands, please scan yourself in, and I know it feels rough, social distance and stuff, we have all had quite enough.” Besides being fitting for our unique Christmases this year, the gorgeous blend of R&B, jazz and pop is a soothing yet gleeful consolation to wrap up the weird year we have had.

While you enjoy the fresh Christmas tunes from 2020, we also made sure to include some holiday jams that might give your speakers a little blast from the past. Here's a refresher on some other great Singaporean Christmas songs to check out: 

Christmas in My City - Miss Lou

While most holiday anthems are crooning about snowfall and mistletoe, Singaporean songstress, Miss Lou, has decided to put her own spin on festive songs by writing ‘Christmas in My City’ specially for tropical Christmases. Laced with whimsical references to the Singaporean Christmas in the track such as "I don’t need a mistletoe, I’m happy with a warm bowl of mee soto," the songbird’s lush vocals has made us feel a whole lot better about not getting a white Christmas this year. 

The Sam Willows - I’m Gonna Be Loved (This Christmas)

As one of the most successful pioneers of Singapore’s pop music scene in the 2000s, The Sam Willows came out with their own Christmas single, ‘I’m Gonna Be Loved (This Christmas)’, as part of their Christmas EP in 2018. The self-written original features its classic pop sound with a side of delicious vocals, carolling about the bountiful love and happiness that comes with the merry holidays. If you are a fan of classic Christmas pop songs to bop your head to and sing along, you might have just found the one.

The Analog Girl - (Oh Suddenly) It Gets You

The Analog Girl specialises in the lo-fi indie-electronic sound, and it certainly translates in this Christmas song which features her haunting vocals in the background of distinct avant-pop beats. A fun fact from the singer-songwriter herself: this track was not originally written as a Christmas song. Further explaining the creative process, “But those bells - they just scream Christmas, don’t you think? It’s definitely an alternative take on the Christmas ballad, this one being extra mellow but nonetheless dripping with nostalgia, as a Christmas song should.” 

Subsonic Eye - Holiday Depression Triggers

Known for their dream-pop sound, Singaporean band, Subsonic Eye delivers their signature vibe in this original tune from a Christmas compilation album by various homegrown artists, A City Without Snow. Unlike the typical finger-snapping jingles that get you grooving to the holiday cheer, this poignant track takes you through an intimately raw and melancholic side of celebrating Christmas.

Cosmic Child - 0212

Another original off A City Without Snow, Cosmic Child, arguably one of the most promising indie rock bands in Southeast Asia, has created the dreamy-synth pop Christmas track, that mashes their divine harmonies with the festive vibes. Unlike the usual upbeat Christmas cheer, this is ideal for those who enjoy the softer side of the holiday season, where the jangly guitar riffs accompanied with the fuzzy vocals will put you in quite the mellow, dreamy, Christmas daze.

Corrinne May - The Answer

This list would not be complete without homegrown singer-songwriter, Corrinne May, who put out a Christmas album in 2006. Entitled The Gift, it comprises traditional Christmas songs such as a moving rendition of 'Silent Night' and two originals, including ‘The Answer’. Featuring May’s moving vocals which convey her heartfelt prayer and a reflective tone for the close of the year, if you enjoy a more traditional approach to Christmas, this might just be The Answer.

Culture Vulture - Merry Christmas Singapore

‘Merry Christmas Singapore’ is a song created by Culture Vulture, a Singaporean band which uses ethnic instruments in their music and was founded by percussionist, Albert Louis. An ode to celebrating Christmas in tropical Singapore, there are sprinkles of local flavour and humorous references in the lyrics such as, "put up the lights this season, don't even need a reason, then after Christmas sell to karang guni."

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