Sleigh Bells: Not Just For Christmas Anymore
Christmastime: A time for family, for giving, and much to the displeasure of many, a time for incessantly grating holiday music. Christmas spirit frozen in cheesy songs monopolizes radio stations and relentlessly stalks our every step.
A key component of much holiday music is often the percussive addition of ever-festive sleigh bells, which, while they may be annoying in Christmas' myriad songs of winter wonderlands, are actually pretty cool when heard in non-holiday tunes. Just when we thought jingle bells were exclusive to Christmas songs, we dug up a whole sleigh-full of non-holiday tracks that incorporate commonly yuletide bells.
Not on the list? Noise-pop darlings Sleigh Bells - but not to worry, you're bound to see them topping innumerable 2010 Best-of lists. Here are some of our favorite sleigh-bell tunes.
10. The Stills, "Animals + Insects": Sleigh bells, which enter this song at the 40-second mark, counteract a miserably brooding "Oh my God" chorus and the singer's promise to "throw grenades at a Christmas choir."
9. Best Coast, "Our Deal": The use of sleigh bells is quite the contrast to the otherwise sunny garage-pop tune, but works effortlessly, making their entrance at the 33-second mark.
8. Björk, "Fúsi Hreindýr": This one's for the Björk superfans. The singer's 1993 album Debut actually came sixteen years after her first official self-titled release, recorded in her native Icelandic when she was just eleven years old. Though an undoubtedly precocious feat for such a tender age, Björk's naïveté is hinted via the instant incorporation of sleigh bells at the 10-second mark.
7. Grizzly Bear, "Ready Able": Amidst a sea of artistic gloom, sleigh bells ring around the 1:48 mark. Grizzly Bear is known in part for their tasteful use of experimental percussive instruments, and this Veckatimest track is no exception.
6. The Stooges, "I Wanna Be Your Dog": Sleigh bells enter this song at the 23-second mark and linger as its main percussive complement throughout the song's entirety, a converse addition to the song's proto-punk attitude.Next Page
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.