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52 of the best indie holiday songs (listen to a playlist)

Charlie Brown

We’re about halfway through December, which probably means you’re hearing tons of holiday music wherever you go. If you’re a little tired of hearing the same songs that they play in department stores and you want to spice up your holiday season with an indie rock twist, we’ve made a playlist of 52 indie holiday songs that you can throw on the next time your friends and family gather ’round the yule log. Some are indie-style renditions of the classics, others are originals. Some came out this year, other are decades old. And maybe a few bend the definition of “indie.”

Among our choices are festive tunes by Bright Eyes, Sufjan Stevens, Cat Power, Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab for Cutie, Low, The Shins, Pedro the Lion, Rufus Wainwright + Sharon Van Etten, My Morning Jacket, The Flaming Lips, Emmy the Great + Lightspeed Champion (aka Dev Hynes, who you now know as Blood Orange), Cocteau Twins, Sloan, Phoebe Bridgers, Wolf Alice, Fiona Apple, Tegan & Sara, The Decemberists, Girl Ray, Miracle Legion, They Might Be Giants, Rilo Kiley, The Raveonettes, The Wedding Present, Weezer, The Smashing Pumpkins, and more. Oh, and DMX‘s cover of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is on there, obviously.

Below is a Spotify playlist with 46 of the songs, followed by streams of the six that aren’t on Spotify. Enjoy!

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