It’s not easy being a new song in the holiday music genre. Why listen to something from 2018 when we could just loop Mariah Carey for two months straight? But with artists like Tyler the Creator, John Legend, and even RuPaul coming in to offer something fresh, it might be time to update those Christmas playlists with some of our best and brightest picks below.
“I Am The Grinch” by Tyler the Creator ft. Fletcher Jones
Sounding like something that could’ve been a bonus track off of Flower Boy, “I Am The Grinch” harbors Tyler’s usual bouncing, chaotic energy and (somewhat) harnesses it into a pessimistic, but over all incredibly lovable, holiday track. Calling on Tyler for the Dr. Suess’ The Grinch soundtrack has to be one of the most fitting, endearing casting calls of this holiday season.
“Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” by RuPaul ft. Markaholic
This is the track to play at the holiday party to get people moving after the post-Christmas-ham slump, or maybe to simply startle your more conservative side of the family. Aptly titled Christmas Party, RuPaul’s holiday album is the exact type of hype, proud, and unconventional take you’d expect from Mother Ru. “Hey Sis, It’s Christmas” is a certified bop with lines about Santa’s elves giving life and sugar plum fairies dancing on ceilings. It even includes the line, “Holiday hoes, who could ask for more?” A question probably only RuPaul could answer.
“My Old Santa Claus” by Sia
“My Old Santa Claus” is really an A+ pop track that doubles as a holiday song. Sia sprinkles her trademark brass-y vocals over some jingling bells, though the song isn’t as cheery as it sounds on the surface. Sia laments of a happier, old Santa Claus as she croons, “’Cause if Christmas is so green and so red, then why am I so blue?”
“What Christmas Means to Me” by John Legend ft. Stevie Wonder
If anything, it’s shocking John Legend didn’t have a holiday album prior to 2018. A Legendary Christmas opens not with a cover, but more like a remix, to a holiday classic. The EGOT-winning artist teams with Stevie Wonder on “What Christmas Means to Me,” a track that originally belonged—and still pretty much does—to Stevie Wonder, who released his iconic version in 1967. The new rendition pairs Legend’s smooth familiar voice with some added female vocals and horns for an updated new staple.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Pentatonix
Pentatonix is a beatboxing a cappella group that really, really loves Christmas. For their fourth holiday album, they’ve included a squeaky clean pop version of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” with a very impressive kazoo solo that involves no actual kazoos, but some very well done mimicking from one of the members.
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Jessie J
For the first 30 seconds of the track, Jessie J holds the tempo back, letting her vocal cords do all the work over a few piano keys. Then, the horns hit. The song stays on its original jazzy note, but the funk builds as it progresses for this take of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
This article was originally posted on Harper’s Bazaar.
Minor changes have been made by the Quiet Curator Editors.