Even though the holidays are a great season for wearing cute scarves, drinking hot chocolate and doing other wintery things, the usual holiday music we hear on the radio can get a little old. Turns out a lot of our favorite artists actually have recorded holiday songs, so if you’re looking to avoid the usual holiday classics this season, give this playlist a listen!
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by She & Him
I don’t care if you don’t like “500 Days of Summer” or “New Girl” but you have to admit, Zooey Deschanel has a beautiful voice. You know, that kind of classic, old Hollywood voice? She’s got it. And you can listen to it over and over again on She & Him’s cover of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”.
“The O.C. Mix 3: Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah”
No, that one “Californiaaaa here we come” song is not the only good song to come off of “The O.C.” In fact, there are six of “The O.C.” mixes, featuring songs from the show. Of course, there is a holiday one titled “Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah”. Some of our fave indie artists like Jimmy Eat World make an appearance on this album with their take on holiday classics.
“I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun” by Beach House
Perhaps one of the least cliché holiday songs on this list goes to Beach House’s “I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun”. Complete with sleigh bells and wintery imagery such as “Though darkness comes/So quick in time/Shortens our days/To longer nights”, this song is perfect if you want to moodily look off into the distance and think about how badly you’re missing the sun.
“Joel, the Lump of Coal” by The Killers
Oh, The Killers—the band who brought us timeless indie anthems like “Mr. Brightside” and “Read My Mind” also have a 10-year-long tradition of releasing a holiday song every December. Arguably one of their best is “Joel, the Lump of Coal”, a ballad about a selfless piece of coal that sacrifices himself to make one boy’s holiday better. Brandon Flowers would personify a lump of coal.
“Little Drummer Girl” by Alicia Keys
“Noche de Paz” by Fifth Harmony
I have mad respect for the girls of Fifth Harmony; not only do they have powerful voices but three of the girls are bilingual. They did a Spanish cover of “Silent Night” called “Noche de Paz” and believe me, it had me feeling all the holiday feels.
“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande
Isn’t it fitting that Ariana Grande—who was once called “a young Mariah”—actually followed Mariah Carey’s prolific steps and released a Christmas song for the holidays? To be fair, “Santa Tell Me” is a feel-good holiday song on its own and I’m all about Ariana Grande singing holiday music.
“Sleigh Ride” by TLC
A holiday cover by yet another R&B great, “Sleigh Ride” is off of the holiday album “A Laface Family Christmas”, featuring label-mates Outkast and Usher. Even though the lyrics are the same as the original, TLC brings its own twist, making it a holiday jam that you can bump all year long.
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Yes, Zooey Deschanel is back on this list again. But for a good reason! She paired up with indie-dream boy Joseph Gordon-Levitt for an almost unbearably cute (and hipster) rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s classic. I’m bitter “500 Days of Summer” didn’t end like this video.