Here’s some holiday music from off the beaten path. No “Jingle Bells” in sight.
Come December, the same playlist accompanies any remotely holiday-themed event. Wham! is great and all, but I heard “Last Christmas” last night…and the night before that. Given our affinity for all things alternative, we want to save you from another “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by offering you some holiday carols outside of the usual suspects.
1. White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
Because no song captures the feeling of drinking hot chocolate in wool socks quite like this one does.
2. I Want An Alien For Christmas – Fountains of Wayne
Me, too, Fountains of Wayne. Me, too.
3. Listen, The Snow is Falling – Galaxie 500
What does snowfall sound like? One answer is that it sounds like Naomi Yang’s beautiful voice covering this Yoko Ono song between Dean Wareham’s stellar guitarwork. The longest song on this list is also the most epic.
4. Oh You (Christmas Blues) – LCD Soundsystem
Oh, you were expecting “Christmas Will Break Your Heart,” weren’t you? Now you know James Murphy has been getting retrospectively sad every December since 2010.
5. I Have A Little Dreidel – Barenaked Ladies
This Canadian quartet is getting “barenaked for the holidays”; you should, too! Here they are getting a traditional Hanukkah jumping.
6. Christmas at the Zoo – The Flaming Lips
From sledding to snowball fights to snow angels, winter brings endless activities. The Flaming Lips bring one more: releasing all the animals at your local zoo.
7. Christmas Celebration – Weezer
Weezer released a full Christmas album in 2006 with covers of classic Christmas carols, but their oft-forgotten 2000 EP has gems like this one. The perfect song to kick off any holiday celebration.
8. Frosty the Snowman – Fiona Apple
Not quite loud enough to melt your face off, Fiona’s “Frosty” will certainly melt any snowmen in its path.
9. Lonely Man of Winter – Sufjan Stevens
Michigander Sufjan Stevens grew up facing the coldest of the cold and has a history of drawing from his experience, with wintry albums like Avalanche and Songs For Christmas. This November, he continued that pattern, releasing “Lonely Man of Winter.”
10. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
You just might want to spend Christmas by yourself this year. “Christmas Wrapping” is perfect for that. It’s also perfect for social functions. It’s perfect for anything, really.
11. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight) – The Ramones
12. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – She & Him
Everyone remembers when Will Ferrell sang this song in Elf. He doesn’t quite fit the parameters for this list, and Zooey Deschanel, your other favorite comedic-star-turned-musician, does it better.
13. I Won’t Be Home For Christmas – Blink-182
Included because there wasn’t enough snarky angst on this playlist. There’s a time and place for everything.
14. White Christmas – The Flaming Lips
Two Flaming Lips songs on one list? Does that make them the official band of the holiday season? Unofficially, yes.
15. Jesus Christ – Big Star
Festive songs go way back. Big Star, the godfathers of alternative rock, did one for Jesus Christ’s birthday.
Happy holidays from WBRU!