Help me discover new Christmas songs/music/albums
November 28, 2022 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I am somewhat of a traditionalist in my taste for Christmas music (Ray Coniff, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, The Carpenters, Vince Garibaldi (Charlie Brown), etc.) but each year I like to discover new songs or groups or albums, in any genre. Please recommend a favorite or two. Links would be appreciated :).
posted by luvmywife to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I really really love John Fahey's Christmas Album.
posted by saladin at 9:35 AM on November 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

I haven't heard it myself, but yesterday I saw somebody on Reddit raving about Sia's Christmas album, which contains all-new songs. I plan to check it out eventually based on how many Redditors liked it.
posted by jdroth at 9:39 AM on November 28, 2022

I liked Hark, Andrew Bird's Christmas album from a couple years ago.
posted by sportbucket at 9:42 AM on November 28, 2022

Old, but still fabulous: Tis the Season for Los Straitjackets!
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 9:51 AM on November 28, 2022

A Motown Christmas is almost fifty years old, and the Stax Soul Christmas album is older than that, so they've probably aged into 'traditional' by now.

(If you enjoy Clarence Carter's 'Back Door Santa,' check out Run-DMC's 'Christmas in Hollis,' which prominently samples it.)

(Also, this question and questions like it have come up a lot on AskMe. You might check out some of the older ones for more suggestions.)
posted by box at 9:54 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I recently recorded a sad holiday bop called "Rudolph's Ranch".
posted by pxe2000 at 10:04 AM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I like the Aimee Mann/Ted Leo Christmas combo, especially this one.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:20 AM on November 28, 2022

Based on a previous ask I made this playlist - several amazing songs on it are part of my new rotation! I hope you enjoy:

challenging christmas
posted by bbqturtle at 10:24 AM on November 28, 2022

For some ummm....alternative choices...
A Very Reggae Christmas was always a favourite in my house growing up.
The Yobs Christmas Album is hard to find, but brilliant. And not for the faint hearted.
Chas and Dave's Christmas Knees Up is on constant rotation at my parent's house.
posted by conifer at 11:06 AM on November 28, 2022

my friend burned me an East Coast Christmas and this David Myles tune is lovely: Santa Never Brings Me a Banjo

not sure if Hey Rosetta's Carry Me Home is already on your seasonal radar?

Low Christmas
posted by elkevelvet at 11:08 AM on November 28, 2022

My family loves the John Denver and the Muppets album.
posted by FencingGal at 11:13 AM on November 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

conifer: The Yobs Christmas Album is hard to find, but brilliant.

posted by sportbucket at 11:16 AM on November 28, 2022

My favorite "non-traditional" Christmas Album is the Monkees' Christmas Party.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:20 AM on November 28, 2022

From Alligator Records (blues label): The Alligator Christmas Collection and Genuine Houserockin’ Christmas

A Creole Christmas
posted by staggernation at 12:07 PM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Check out Paul Kelly's Christmas Train. Australia's bard collects other voices to sing traditional and contemporary Christmas songs including a version of Australia's unofficial Christmas anthem How to make gravy.
posted by Thella at 12:19 PM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

I'm sure I've posted at least the first one in previous asks but every December I really enjoy dusting off these from 2 of my favorite modern stride pianists (sadly Butch passed away earlier this year) :

Bethlehem After Dark: Butch Thompson with cellist Laura Sewell

Stridin' Through Christmas: Chris Dawson
posted by snowymorninblues at 12:51 PM on November 28, 2022

Here is a youtube playlist of christmas songs (in a minor key, or otherwise weird) by Dodie
posted by Acari at 12:58 PM on November 28, 2022

While it’s not technically a Christmas album, Bjork’s early jazz album Gling Glo has great Christmas party vibes.

Or maybe, Khruangbin’s slightly groovy cover of Christmas Time is Here and it’s funkier remix
posted by chrisulonic at 1:47 PM on November 28, 2022

Ella Fitzgerald A Swinging Christmas
posted by poppunkcat at 3:03 PM on November 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

My favorite Christmas album is the Chieftains' Bells of Dublin.
posted by potrzebie at 3:36 PM on November 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

Most people hate this. I do not

Wonderful Christmas Time,

And I like this, others might not. YMMV

A Christmas Song by Jethro Tull
posted by Splunge at 4:31 PM on November 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Pink Floyd - The Christmas Song. You'll probably hate it.
posted by dg at 4:47 PM on November 28, 2022

Brave Combo , oh holy night cha cha.
posted by hortense at 5:06 PM on November 28, 2022

You Wish (a Merge Records Christmas Album) is really nice: folky and mellow.

I love Naima Cochrane's playlist called Souful Ass Christmas with lots of great R&B, Soul, and Blues songs including my favorite This Christmas by Donny Hathaway.
posted by vespabelle at 7:03 PM on November 28, 2022

The Bells of Dublin by The Chieftains, includes many traditional songs, with great renditions by many gifted artists.
posted by TimHare at 7:19 PM on November 28, 2022

Tracey Thorn - Joy
posted by sigmagalator at 12:40 AM on November 29, 2022

Michael Buble, Christmas.
posted by Enid Lareg at 8:52 AM on November 29, 2022

I do not speak German, but I love "Kling, Glockchen." It means "Ring, Little Bell." There is a lot of renditions, though I am partial to Andrea Jurgens version from her 1979 Christmas album. I find it to be quite the pleasant earworm.
posted by seed at 9:11 AM on November 29, 2022

I have three that haven't been mentioned so far:

(1) A Dreamer's Christmas - John Zorn. Dreamy, jazzy. V low key. Link to Apple Music playlist.

(2) Christmas - Bruce Cockburn. Canadian folkie. Lots of traditional folk Christmas songs lovingly and beautifully rendered. Link to youtube playlist.

(3) Barenaked for the Holidays - Barenaked Ladies. Some originals. Some new. All different. Canadian pop with a sense of humour. Fun! Link to Jingle Bells (listen to the end)
posted by kaymac at 9:33 AM on November 29, 2022

I think Sufjan Stevens' Christmas albums might be a fun option to try! Some lovely arrangements of traditional Christmas music, along with some bonkers and weird new stuff like "Christmas Unicorn".
posted by yasaman at 11:25 AM on November 29, 2022

The best Christmas show I saw in the 90s was the El Vez show promoting Merry MeX-mas
posted by eckeric at 3:03 PM on November 29, 2022

Over in bbqturtle's thread I recommended some Jonathan Coulton songs, which are kind of poppy nerdy fun funny and yet often surprisingly poignant songs:

Christmas is Interesting (my favorite!)
Podsafe Christmas Song
Chiron Beta Prime

But I also love Christmas jazz - angry (Blue Xmas), silly (Deck Us All With Boston Charlie), jaded (A Jazz Musician's Christmas), or classic (What Are You Doing New Year's Eve).

I also quite like The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams.
posted by kristi at 5:32 PM on November 29, 2022

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