Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. This week we are featuring songs for the holidays. Today’s song is the Wham! hit “Last Christmas” as performed by Brite Futures from their self-released single.
All week we’ve been loading up your iPod with tasty holiday songs and today’s treat comes from Seattle electro-popsters Brite Futures. They are stuffing your stocking with the synth-tastic cover of the 1984 hit “Last Christmas” originally released as a double A-side single (with “Everything She Wants”) by the post-disco duo of Wham! This song might have been in the shadow of Michael’s other holiday song that year-he contributed vocals to the immensely popular “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” the chart topping single by Band-Aid. “Last Christmas,” however, became the highest-selling song to ever peak at number 2 on the UK charts and has inspired countless cover versions by everyone from the Arctic Monkeys to Taylor Swift and even Cold Play and Florence and the Machine. And just the other day, local songstress Kaylee Cole and Widower’s Kevin Large posted an acoustic Christmasgram on Facebook.
This song has been translated into many different styles, but this version by Brite Futures retains the original charm but kicks it up a notch. Singer Luke Smith shares some of what he loves about this song and some favorite Christmas memories:
What was the best toy you ever got for Christmas?
I remember getting a Lego space shuttle kit complete with launch pad. I loved it and spent the entire day in my PJs building this massive Lego model. I still wish I would get Legos for Xmas.
What inspired you to cover this song?
There are a lot of haters out there but I just really love Wham! This is one of my favorite Christmas songs because it’s so sentimental and bittersweet, and George Michael’s voice is incredibly expressive. Plus the synth chord progression is amazing. I just wanted to put my own spin on a song I love.
Brite Futures don’t have any tour dates posted right now, but it looks like they’ll be heading to SXSW next spring so keep an eye on their website for tour dates to come. In the meantime, here’s the original video for “Last Christmas” filmed in a remote Swiss chalet. I want my $2 (and my girlfriend back)!