In a previous post, I wrote about my wife and I’s intensive screening process for modern Christmas music. We listen to almost every modern Christmas album as they’re released, keeping only the best tracks for our own master playlist. Here are a few tracks to consider adding to your personal mix!
“Just Another Christmas Song” by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
Track 4 off of the groups stellar Christmas album seamlessly blends in references to classic holiday songs within its own soulful groove. It feels like a record that was made in the era of the Jackson 5 and I’m all for it. Once you’ve been won over by this track, I implore you to listen to this album in full.
“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Tyler, the Creator
“Youre a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Tyler, the Creator adds a hip-hop twist on a Dr. Seuss classic. Leverage the sing-songy rap flow that has grown in popularity in the 2010s, this one maintains its catchiness while making it feel hip for the kids of today. After this, you should also treat your ears to Tyler, the Creator’s original song for the film, “I Am the Grinch“. Also, if you haven’t already, check out this modern Grinch movie. It’s a fantastic rework of a classic story to better fit modern times and attitudes.
“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” by Lindsey Stirling
While the origins of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” date back to the late 1800s, I always associate it as “Music-1” from Tetris on the NES. Whether you listen to this as a Christmas cover or a video game cover, Lindsey Stirling’s rendition of the track is a bop. The notes of her violin dance in-and-out of the pulsing back beat as she plays the tune while weaving in nods to other holiday tunes. For a modern reenactment of The Nutcracker, I’d love to see this version in use.
“You Make it Feel Like Christmas” by Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton
Performed by real-life music power couple Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, “You Make it Feel Like Christmas” is a sugary ode to the one you love during the holiday season. They’re both talented performers in their own right, but I feel like this song gets a +2 in #relationshipgoals off the strength of their performance together. Though it didn’t set the world on fire upon its original release, I think it checks all the boxes for a song that could brighten many holiday seasons to come.
“Last Christmas” by Coeur de Pirate
As far as secular holiday songs go, the only track to best “Last Christmas” by Wham! is “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. It’s been covered countless times; including by some of personal favourite artists such as Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. Until proven otherwise, my favourite will always be the original with George Michael on vocals.
But for the purposes of adding a unique take on this classic to your playlist, may I suggest the Coeur de Pirate version? Though I’m unfamiliar with her work outside of this cover, I do enjoy this stripped-down rendition of the song. If you’re feeling a bit heartbroken this Christmas (and I hope you’re not!), this is the version you want to listen to while you warm up in front of the fireplace, wallowing in your unfortunate holiday sorrow.
What are some of your favourite holiday songs? Feel free to share your Christmas bops in the comments! Happy holidays!
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