When we’re down doing all our various holiday deeds, we like to get in the mood properly and the best way is to play some yuletide tunes, but not the usual suspect numbers by Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble or even Mariah Carey. We prefer some Christmas fare that’s not overplayed, and most certainly, still genuine as always and celebrates not just the holiday and its meaning, but the strength of human spirit — basically what lasts us till the end of each year to feast and exchange presents.
Here are some “alternative” Christmas songs, whether they’re original songs or brand new renditions, you can put on your playlist!
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‘It’s Christmas, But It’s Not White In Our Town’ | Kishi Bashi
Kishi Bashi is a standout in the indie music landscape, with his vocal looping and live violin, but his sweeping ode to Christmas shall forever remain one of our personal favourites from him.
‘I Believe In Father Christmas’ | Mark Kozelek
Adopting his new, famed conversational approach to his music, Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek refines this protest song against the commercialisation of the holiday with tranquil guitar.
‘Christmastime’ | The Smashing Pumpkins
It’s any wonder why the famed alt-rock band never released a Christmas-themed song in their main discography — imagine Christmas carols with rich, Mellon Collie-styled instrumentation — but this delightful little tune was conceived by band leader Billy Corgan for a Special Olympics compilation.
‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ | Sharon van Etten & Rufus Wainwright
Match made in heaven.
‘Christmas In Harlem’ | Kanye West
While it seems unlikely for the currently intense Yeezus to produce something this joyous again, we can still enjoy his 2010 treat that’s equally an enjoyable Kanye track as it is the perfect song for Christmas if you’re looking for something more beat-heavy.
‘Xmas Curtain’ | My Morning Jacket
The alt-country band is popular for their sombre tales of heartbreak, and this track is no different, but listen to those guitars! Perfect for slow dancing below the mistletoe.
‘Star of Wonder’ | Sufjan Stevens
The massively-popular indie musician has been a fanatic for the holiday, having put out multiple Christmas-themed EPs over the years, and this particular composition stands out for its lush piano and yearning lyricism.
‘A Christmas F**king Miracle’ | Run the Jewels
Less about the holidays and more about staying true to yourself, the music video is also perfect if you need something hilarious to watch at a gathering.
‘Child’s Christmas In Wales’ | John Cale
The Velvet Underground founder might have strong predilections towards the raucous kind of music, but ‘Child’s Christmas in Wales’ is a beautiful track that paints a poignant, impressionistic portrait of a town in the midst of Christmas celebrations.
‘Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)’ | Laura Marling
An exercise in idealism, ‘Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)’ plays with the best of our ideas of how a perfect winter should be, and it is sublime escapism with Laura Marling’s exquisite voice.