Bored of Carols? Rebel Yell Made A Christmas Techno Record
Rebel Yell's new EP 'Jingle Yell' is weird, silly, and beautifully festive. Maybe save it for after Christmas lunch, though.
While the amount of solid modern Christmas music on offer feels like it's increased in recent years—Ariana Grande's "Santa Tell Me" fucking goes, as it were—the range still feels fairly limited. For the most part, it's only really mid-to-high-tier popstars, The Killers and mid-to-high-tier indie bands that release festive tracks, with the occasional rapper dropping some vaguely holiday-themed project every so often for good measure. If you're looking for something in the way of club music, it's nigh impossible. This Christmas, that void gets slightly smaller with the release of Jingle Yells, a great and ridiculous new four-track Christmas EP from Sydney-via-Brisbane producer Rebel Yell (real name Grace Stevenson), which we're premiering today ahead of the Christmas break.
The joy of Jingle Yells lies all in how wonderfully, resolutely weird it manages to be while still functioning as great music (and an EP that feels entirely of a piece with Hired Muscle, Stevenson's great record from earlier this year.) The tracks don't necessarily sound like Christmas music—there are no bells to be found here—but feature references to classics like "Santa Baby," "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas." Only on Jingle Yells, "Santa Baby" becomes a clanging, metallic tech-house track called "SANTA B.B."; "Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas" is transformed into the tense, chaotic acid-techno heater "BEGINNING 2 LOOK A LOT LIKE XMAS"; and "ALL I WANT 4 XMAS" pushes Mariah's modern-classic into the pummelling techno song you never thought it could be.
Closer "DOPPLEGANGER," an EP highlight, pulls the refrain from this year's Rebel Yell single "Pressure Drop" ("Rebel Yell / Feel the pressure") and changes it to "Jingle yell / Feel the pressure." After all, no Christmas record worth its salt leaves out the requisite Christmas original. Jingle Yells definitely isn't the most traditional Christmas record you'll hear this year—and it's definitely not one for lunchtime listening with your parents on the 25th—but hey: if you feel like double dropping and getting a bit festive on Christmas night, you have the perfect soundtrack.
Find Rebel Yell on Instagram.