The year is winding down and the holiday season is in full swing. This time of year, new releases are few and far between, so I thought I’d offer up some of my favorite Christmas tunes and hopefully help you shake up your holiday playlist a little bit.
‘Father Christmas’ by The Kinks
I’ve always been a big fan of the Kinks, and this song remains my favorite of all Christmas tunes. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, irreverent and pretty dang fun to sing along to.
‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ by Phoebe Bridgers
Phoebe Bridgers is one of the newer artists on this list. The indie folk singer released her first LP on Dead Oceans this year, and it’s been doing well for her. She also put out a slow and sultry rendition of this Christmas classic, and it does not disappoint.
‘Christmas Treat’ by Julian Casablancas
Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas released this track on the end of 2009’s “Phrazes for the Young.” It really elegantly pulls together a subtle Christmas undertone and the new wavey rock sound.
‘Blue Christmas’ by Bright Eyes
If you’re really looking to feel blue on Christmas, look no further than Conor Oberst. His slow, intentional, quivery voice offers a sad, off-kilter take on an old favorite.
‘Get Behind Me, Santa!’ by Sufjan Stevens
This track is a pretty obvious choice for an indie Christmas playlist, but the whole album, “Songs for Christmas,” is stellar. With many original songs peppered among the Sufjan versions of classics, this record has a lot to offer. Some songs are very pretty, and others offer a nice chuckle. “Get Behind Me, Santa!” is great because it’s tame enough for the whole family.
‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)’ by The Ramones
Is this a “good” Ramones song? Probably not. But is it a lovely, corny, punk-tinged Christmas tune? Yes. I always get a kick out of listening to this one, and it’s definitely more interesting than listening to another version of Jingle Bells.
‘My Favorite Part (Of This Time of Year)’ by Dude York
Indie pop punkers Dude York released a really cute holiday album this year titled “Halftime for the Holidays.” Offering up slackery and sunny pop for the holidays, this is a record for fans of Tacocat or early Cherry Glazerr.
‘Christmas Will Break Your Heart’ by LCD Soundsystem
In my experience, LCD Soundsystem is one of the least contentious contemporary bands I’ve encountered. People just seem to agree that their music is good. So naturally, with the holidays being a tense time, LCD Soundsystem seems like the perfect thing to throw on. Lucky for you, they released a Christmas song, “Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” back in 2015. It’s pretty sad, but it sounds nice, with sleigh bells to boot.
I hope you found something new that you can add to your holiday music arsenal. If you still run out, you can tune into Radio 1190 to catch our “Naughty and Noise” celebration on Christmas Day.
Wishing a warm and relaxing holiday break to everyone. I’ll catch ya in the new year. As always, come hang out at 1190 AM, 98.9 FM or radio1190.org.
Klefeker is Radio 1190’s music director. Read more reviews: coloradodaily.com/columnists