Holiday Playlists: Find Your Christmas Favorites

Holiday Playlists: Find Your Christmas Favorites

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and peaceful days with your friends and loved ones.

To musically celebrate the holidays we’ve put together some useful playlists for different occasions and tastes:

New Christmas Songs 2014

Every Holiday season sees a fresh group of popular and obscure artists putting their own spin on the Christmas music tradition. If you’re tired of the same old Christmas standards year after year, check out our playlist of new Holiday singles from 2014. Artists include Sam Smith, Mark Kozelek, The Both (Ted Leo & Aimee Mann), Over The Rhine and many more.

Christmas Classics

Where would Christmas be without Nat King Cole? His warm, rich voice embodies the very essence of Christmas, while lyrically reinforcing its message of unity and togetherness, as he did throughout his lifetime. Cole is a natural gateway to this collection of American Christmas standards from the mid-20th century. The list includes Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Autry and Mahalia Jackson – all the holders of exceptional voices, regardless of time and place.

These definitive Christmas songs are not just evergreens by virtue of their timeless splendor, they have the power to transcend modern stresses surrounding the holidays and transport us back to a simpler version of Christmas that lives untarnished in our collective memory.

A Country Christmas

Country music and Christmas go together like milk and cookies, and both manage to rustle up a lot of warm feelings about family, sentimentality and simpler times. So it should be no surprise that country artists are particularly common to incorporate the Yuletide spirit into their repertoire. Here are some of our favorite country Christmas classics.

Happy Hanukkah

Christmas gets all the attention this time of year, but as goys need to be reminded, there are other celebrations afoot in December. Hanukkah doesn’t have the same deep musical traditions as its Christian counterpart, but we’ve put together some new and traditional songs to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights, even if it doesn’t last you all eight days. Highlights from the Editors include fresh songs from the LeeVees and Barenaked Ladies, a surf-rock interpretation of “Oh Hanukkah” by Meshugga Beach Party, and the Barry Sisters’ classic ’60s hit, “Chiribim, Chiribim.” Of course we had to top it off with the most classic of Hanukkah tunes: Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song.”

Alternative Christmas

Christmas music is not just reserved for sparkling choir boys or old pruney crooners. This is a collection of Christmas songs – or rather songs about Christmas – with a, shall we say, “alternative” twist on the traditional yuletide sentiments. John Prine sings about spending Christmas in prison, Elmo & Patsy ballad about poor old Grandma getting run over by a reindeer, and Coldplay sings about “Christmas night, another fight”. The list also includes a healthy number of Indie renditions from the likes of Weezer, the Shins and Low, as well as more flamboyant Christmas rock from The Ramones and Fucked Up. ‘Tis the season to be different.

Christmas Soul

No other genre has been able to breath as much spirit and feeling into the Christmas season as the R&B legends of Motown and Stax. While not forgetting the traditional sentimentalities attached to mistletoe, cozy log fires, Christmas hymns, these artists manage to mix in a bit of romance.

Such is the case in Donny Hathaway’s famous “This Christmas,” or with suggestive takes like Clarence Carter’s ”Back Door Santa” and Albert King’s ”Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin.’” James Brown, The Emotions and The Staple Singers keep the holiday grounded in spirituality and deeper social issues, while Otis Redding’s “White Christmas” and the Jackson 5′s feisty “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” may live on as some of the best Christmas tracks ever laid to tape.

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