With Christmas just a few sleeps away, you may well have had your fill of Rockin’ around the Christmas tree and Let it snow — why not add a few New East tunes to your festive playlist? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite holiday hits to come out of the region over the last couple of years and believe there’s something for everyone — from classic Christmas cheese to music for those who can’t wait for the season to be over.
Evropa 2, Czech Republic
The team from popular Czech radio station Evropa 2 (other high-quality radio stations are available) want to welcome you into a realm of festivities and tinsel. Help choose a Christmas tree and join the gang at their holiday party. The Christmas jumper game is strong, as should yours be. Warning: this video features Christmas shopping. Those in the midst of gift-induced stress may want to step away now.
First Christmas without you
Lidija Bačić, Croatia
Poor Lidija is not having a great Christmas. Rather than singing around a cosy fireplace, she is wandering around a dilapidated house, surrounded by some artfully arranged chairs and light bulbs. A cellist joins her in the ruins for this candlelit lament on a past love. Although she has dressed up for the occasion, such is her distress that Lidija rips her ballgown in anguish — this is a track for those who are just fed up with this, frankly excessive, Christmas jollity.
Based on this video, a Slovakian Christmas is nothing if not idyllic. Former Eurovision contestant Kristína takes a leaf out of Dorothy’s book, donning sparkly red shoes and pristine white socks for a sing-song in a charming forest cabin with all her mates. You’ll also get some inspiration for a little festive baking, not to mention interior design. There may or may not be a surprise visit from Santa.
The old year is passing
Originating in the Lviv region, Ukrainian group Dzidzio is made up of Dzidzio himself and his mates Lesyk and Julik. Here the gang take on the responsible role of paramedics, saving the day at a lively new year’s party. The pink snout at the edge of the screen is the band’s logo, and a reference to the fourth band member — their pet pig, Meison. Where Meison got to see in the new year is as yet unknown.
Johny Machette & Teri Blitzen, Czech Republic
Sickly sweet and selfie-loving, Johny and Teri take us on a mini-break to Prague’s old town, complete with Christmas market and an impressive tree. Despite his slightly terrifying name, Johny Machette turns out to be a nice guy after all, donating his huge reindeer toy to a grateful little girl at a bus stop. Or maybe he just thought better of it after considering the logistics of getting a massive reindeer on a bus. Instead, he takes Teri on a hoverboard adventure to look for a real reindeer.
Happy new year!
Olya Polyakova, Ukraine
A little less wholesome than some of her fellow New East Christmas stars, Olya manages to both remain ice cold and turn up the heat. If nothing else, you may get some ideas for a new year’s party outfit and a stellar set of dance moves. Look out for a stunning piece of headgear, which bears a striking resemblance to drag star Verka Serduchka’s Eurovision getup.
When the star
Jula feat. Sound’n’Grace, Poland
Everyone loves a good (and friendly) snowball fight, not least Jula and her pals. Her girlfriends seem to really be getting into the groove as they sway and click while providing backing vocals on a snowy hillside, until Jula abandons them to give an exclusive concert to some very well-behaved children. The whole thing soon turns into a family singsong in the living room. Lovely.
M-1 and Saulėns, Lithuania
Who says sportswear can’t be festive? A red sequined tracksuit is not enough for Saulėns, though — he takes on the role of a kind of human Christmas tree, adorning himself with fairy lights. The rapper takes thug life to the forest, where he busts some moves and engages in some casual mugging, before basking in some very sparse fake snow.
New year at Comfy.ua
Our favourite Christmas advert song of the year comes from Ukrainian electronics and home appliances retailer Comfy. This ad truly has it all: rapping Santa, dancing Christmas trees, penguins doing the worm, a reindeer discovering VR and a snowman facing the wrath of a hairdryer. It’s enough to make us want to buy a blender.
Not exactly a contemporary hit but here’s a bonus track for you. With much of the song made up of the lyrics “New new new year” (“Novy novy novy god”), Steklovata’s New Year is an easy one to sing along to. The song has sparked a string of parodies from around the world, each attempting to recreate the clip’s VHS aesthetic and the excellent fashion choices of the group. Use this original version as the starting point for a great YouTube adventure.