It’s the beginning of December and you know what that means: The holiday season has officially started. Starbucks has added eggnog lattes and peppermint mochas back onto the menu, Christmas trees are being sold, and ugly holiday sweaters are making their annual appearances. It also means that radio stations all over the world will be playing cheery classics from Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé, and Amy Grant. While these songs are all wonderful, it can be tiring to listen to the same 10-15 Christmas songs over and over. So, I decided to compile a list of 10 alternative holiday songs to freshen up your winter playlists!
1. “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass” by All Time Low – It’s easy to say that the majority of Christmas songs heard on the mainstream radio are cheerful. However, this All Time Low tune is angsty and just as lovely! To me, it’s the perfect angry breakup song, with plenty of clever Christmas references thrown in. Listen to this if you’re ready for something to scream at the top of your lungs after a bad relationship (Besides “Last Christmas” of course).
2. “All I Can Give You” by Jason Lancaster – This is a beautiful and original ballad that is perfect for your holiday date-night. Lancaster’s voice is like butter and his songwriting is just as beautiful. Listen to this song with a loved one while you’re sipping hot chocolate.
3. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by She and Him – Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward remake this holiday classic wonderfully. The duo has two Christmas albums full of classics that they rearranged and gave their own vintage/indie vibe. If you want to listen to old-school Christmas jams reimaged through Deschanel’s unique voice, these albums are for you.
4. “All I Want For Christmas” by Jule Vera – It seems like this song by Mariah Carey is covered by multiple artists every year, but I’ve never heard a version as modern as this. Vera chooses to tell the story of this song through synths, piano, electronic drums, and echoing, mellow vocals. It is a fresh take on a very overdone song, and Vera does not disappoint.
5. “I Had a Heart” by Real Friends – This is another original Christmas song, and Real Friends’ style shines through. Angsty, emo, and disillusioned, this song will tug on your heartstrings through the new year.
6. “Christmas on the Road” by Sleeping with Sirens – This is a happier acoustic tune all about the excitement of seeing loved ones during the holidays. Quinn sings with cheerful anticipation to see his family, and notes that Christmas is his favorite time of year. This song is all about love.
7. “In Like a Lion (Always Winter)” by Relient K – I discovered this song just recently and I immediately fell in love. Relient K has their very own Christmas album full of both covers and originals – and to me, this song is a standout. It’s about winter going on forever but never losing hope in the cold.
8. “The Lights and Buzz” by Jack’s Mannequin – I’ve been a fan of Jack’s Mannequin for a while, and this song uniquely tells the story of Christmas in California. It’s about the struggles of moving forward and celebrating the holiday when so much has changed. But, as Andrew McMahon sings, “It feels good to be alive.”
9. “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out” by Fall Out Boy – This is one of my favorite alternative Christmas songs. Fall Out Boy outdoes themselves with this original song – I love listening to it year-round! And of course, it’s edgy.
10. “The Christmas Song” by Weezer – Weezer wrote their own Christmas song, and it doesn’t disappoint punk-rock fans! Rivers Cuomo is missing his love on Christmas and is disillusioned by all the broken promises she made. It’ll make you feel something!
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