The Pogues’ pathos-drenched 1987 reel “Fairytale Of New York” is one of the all-time great Christmas pop songs, but thanks to Shane MacGowan’s inimitable slur-gargle and the hard F-bomb that guest Kirsty MacColl drops, it’s not the sort of song that anyone can comfortably cover. But former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij is a daring soul, daring enough to share his version of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” last week. For a new live-in-studio Spotify single, Rostam has taken on “Fairytale Of New York” and done a shockingly faithful version. There’s an uncredited female singer doing MacColl’s part, and she leaves the song’s homophobic slur in place. The strings and tin whistles are in there, too. Check it out below, via SPIN.
Rostam’s solo debut Half-Light is out now on Nonesuch.