Wollongong indie-folk songstress Kay Proudlove didn’t plan on writing a Christmas song, but she has, and it’s not what you’d expect. ‘Gift Card’ explores the complexities that arise this time of year from financial stress to genuine human connections and of course the not-so-thoughtful giving a gift card.
With Christmas only two days away (!!), we asked Kay to give us a rundown of her favourite festive bangers.
Darren Hanlon – ‘I Wish That I Was Beautiful For You’
Darren Hanlon has been a big inspiration since early on, after seeing a set of his at Blue Mountains Music Festival. I was around 13 and very impressed that he could rhyme so many obscure words together. He started doing an annual Christmas show over ten years ago, which me and my mum go to every year. It almost doesn’t feel like Christmas until we’re sitting in an old hall, ceiling fans on full, instant coffee in hand and this song floating through the room.
Kate Miller – ‘Heidke ft. The Beards – I’m Growing a Beard Downstairs For Christmas’
I mean, how could you not. Kate is fearless and sassy and that’s something that I really admire and find inspiring. I could probably write an essay on how Kate has influenced my songwriting, but for now I’ll just say that she taught me there are no rules when it comes to songwriting and if you want to pen a track about festive public hair, you can. Merry Hairy Christmas.
Paul Kelly – ‘How To Make Gravy’
Probably an obvious choice, but I can’t make this list without including this national treasure. For me this song really hits home that everyones Christmas plays out differently, but ultimately revolves around the same things: love and family, whether it’s the one you’re born into or one you create for yourself. Also, the recipe is very good.
Alana Wilkinson – ‘Closer’
This song is pure sunshine and I can’t get enough of it. A perfect fit for our Australian summer, drinking cold wine in warm grass.
Laura Marlin – ‘Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)’
I lived in England for a few years as a child and had my share of White Christmas’s. I dug myself into a self made igloo one year and sat in it for a few hours. My legs went numb. This song by Laura is reflective and beautiful and gives me all sorts of nostalgic feelings. I highly recommend listening to it when on the brink of your Christmas Day afternoon food coma.
The Northern Folk – ‘Cold’
For me, Christmas goes hand in hand with the summer music festival season. It’s normally a loud, sweaty, extremely fun few weeks spent on stages, tents and in the houses of new friends. I’ve been lucky enough to play with The Northern Folk at a bunch of festivals over the past couple of years, they’re good friends and great musicians. This single just came out and I have had several boogies to it already.
Wham! – ‘Last Christmas’
I love everything about this song, especially the video. They just don’t make ski resort wear like that anymore (or maybe they do, I haven’t skied a day in my life). I love a sad Christmas love song and this is one of the best.
Kay Proudlove – ‘Gift Card’
The inspiration for ‘Gift Card’ came on a day when three separate people told me they couldn’t believe it was nearly Christmas. This was in October. It struck me that it’s something people say every year, which got me thinking about what people go through around Christmas – good and bad. I feel like there’s always this sense of time slipping away and that no one is ever prepared. But it can still be kind of exciting, which is where the lyrics ‘magical and desperate’ come from. There are so many mixed feelings about the festive season and I tried to capture some of those in this song. It’s very much a biographical track and I have definitely attended church straight after Christmas Eve drinks before.
Catch Kay Proudlove:
Wednesday 19 December
Puckey’s Christmas Market
University of Wollongong, Innovation campus
Monday 31 December
19-twenty NYE Party
Shoalhaven Heads Bowling and Recreation Club
Shoalhaven Heads, NSW
Sunday 6 January
Summer Meadow Music
Marakoopa Cafe, Mole Creek, Tasmania
with Bruce Watson (Australian Folk Icon), Kenta Hayashi (Japanese Loop Pedal), Midnight Messengers (Tasmanian Reggae band)
Friday 11 January – Sunday 13 January
Cygnet Folk Festival
Saturday 19 January
Illawarra Folk Festival
Wednesday 23 January
Rad Bar, Wollongong
supporting Wolf and Willow + Rob Edwards