HST Winter: Great Songs For The Holidays

When I was younger, my family and I would sit around our Christmas tree, open up presents, and listen to some of the most classic Christmas songs of yesteryear. Some Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Brenda Lee, and a little bit of Nat “King” Cole made my Christmas mornings incredibly memorable. However, as I grow older and my musical tastes change, I pushed some of those classics to the side and started finding some more recent holiday songs to start filling my December with new memories.

This year, I decided to make a list of some memorable Christmas/Holiday songs for the alternative fans this year, and hopefully some of these songs will brighten your Winter up a bit.

This year, we saw the release of three giant Christmas albums; Michael Buble, She & Him, and…Bieber. But out of those three, the Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward Christmas album really grabbed me this year. Their old-timey style of music fits perfectly with the songs that they cover throughout the album. Zooey’s voice carries most (not all – I believe M.Ward actually sings in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) of the songs, making each one uniquely hers. The highlight for me on this album is “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree;” a cover of the Brenda Lee classic. Not only does Zooey make it hers, she makes it fresh. The saxaphone’s might be gone, but Ward’s guitar playing more than makes up for it. You can go on Spotify and find all of the albums I mentioned above, but I highly recommend you take an extra listen for A Very She And Him Christmas.

For the past six years, The Killers have been releasing Christmas time songs for years now, with all proceeds going to (RED) charity. Some of the songs have been great, straightforward Christmas song in typical Killers fashion (“A Great Big Sled (feat. Toni Halliday”), while some are a little bit more…nutty (“Don’t Shoot Me Santa”). Either way, Brandon Flowers and Co. usually put out great work each year, and this year is no different. “The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball” is a down south country jam mixed with the iconic voice of Flowers and the instrumental geniuses that occupy the band. I highly recommend downloading all of these, especially since it’s for a great cause.

I ran across the Gift Wrapped collection of alternative Christmas songs a couple of years ago, and it instantly became hooked to the entire album. It starts with a live rendition of “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Michael Buble, then goes into a suprising rendition of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by My Chemical Romance. It sounds like something they could’ve put out on I Brought You My Bullets, as Gerard Way still had a sort of indie-punk sounding voice (if you listen to the song and go listen to Danger Days, you will understand what I’m saying here). But surprisingly, this is one of my favorite songs on the album. Other songs on here that caught my eardrums were The Flaming Lips, Foxy Shazam, Jack’s Mannequin, Regina Spektor, The Used, Never Shout Never, and The Brian Setzer Orchestra (their version of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” is awesome). There is a sequel to this album, but I didn’t find much in there that was as good as the original.

Other singles that I found through iTunes:
“Believe In Me” by fun.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Death Cab for Cutie
“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” by Sufjan Stevens
“Auld Lang Syne” by MXPX (probably my favorite punk rock New Years song ever)
“Wish List” by Neon Trees
“Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

There are plenty of other artists putting out new Christmas songs this year, and I highly recommend you browse the holiday section of iTunes and find some new songs to listen to during your times with family and friends.

Happy Holidays from everyone at HST…

2 thoughts on “HST Winter: Great Songs For The Holidays

  1. While you are right that Zooey’s voice is perfectly suited for Christmas music, I was disappointed by She and Him’s CD. I think Buble definitely had a leg up this year!

    I do wish you had described Bieber’s cd in more detail though. The Bieber Fever can keep me warm and toasty through the winter chill.

    In case you didn’t pick up on the heavy sarcasm, that last part was a joke.

  2. Buble did have a good album too, but I think we all knew he would. She and Him’s was a surprise for me, and a nice one at that.

    And for future record, I refuse to listen to Bieber. Not now, not ever.

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