13 songs you won’t hear on the radio this holiday season

By on December 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

road trip musicWhen I was in college, I worked at a restaurant that had a holiday playlist of about 10 songs that was on repeat from Thanksgiving until Christmas. This meant I’d hear the same version of “Hey, Santa!” by Carnie and Wendy Wilson up to 25 times during one shift.

Miraculously, despite that experience, I have nothing against the traditional versions of holiday songs that every radio station plays. But I think we could all use something new this year, so here are 13 songs from bands I enjoy year-round to add a little variety to your playlist.

My Morning Jacket “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

LCD Soundsystem – “Oh You (Christmas Blues)”

She & Him – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

The Head and the Heart – “Winter Song”

Fun. – “Sleigh Ride”

The Shins – “Wonderful Christmastime”

Death Cab for Cutie – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

Islands – “Cold Again”

Sufjan Stevens – “Jingle Bells”

The Flaming Lips – “Little Drummer Boy”

!!! – “And Anyway It’s Christmas”

The Killers – “A Great Big Sled”

The Walkmen – “In the New Year”

Hopefully this list helps you discover some new music this year. Share your favorite holiday songs in the comments!

4 responses to “13 songs you won’t hear on the radio this holiday season

  1. Greg Marsh says:

    The whole “Christmas” album by Bruce Cockburn is outstanding, as is pretty much everything else he’s ever done.

  2. Austin H. says:

    The album “A Twisted Christmas” by Twisted Sister is most likely the only christmas album I could listen to all the way through without skipping a song.

  3. Steve says:

    Since I’m an old geezer, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” gets a lot of play at the Sheridan household over the holidays, but were I stranded at the North Pole with only one recording available, it would probably be “Halle Christmas!”.
    Regarding Greg’s comment, I wasn’t aware Bruce Cockburn did a Christmas album.  If the songs are anywhere near as good as his “If I Had a Rocket Launcher”, it must be a classic!

  4. Greg Marsh says:

    @Steve: Bruce’s “Christmas” CD came out in 1993. Interesting and unusual interpretations of classics, plus an assortment of obscure holiday stuff you’ll never hear anywhere else. My fave holiday album for many years now.