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6 New Holiday Songs Released This Week


The holiday season is rapidly approaching and whether you’re feeling festive or not, musicians have started the annual tradition of releasing songs for the occasion. We offer to you a week’s worth of them, nestled in one place, like gifts under a tree.


Canadian heavy metal vikings Thor have released what is certainly this year’s most headbanging stocking stuffer, Christmas in Valhalla. “I’ve been wanting to make a Christmas album since the Keep The Dogs Away era in 1978,” says Jon Mikl Thor. “This album was so much fun to make. I hope everyone who hears it feels that extra Christmas spirit!” With titles like “Slay Rider” and “Gonna Have A Rockin’ Christmas,’ “Cold Saint Nick,” and six other originals, how could you not? The cover art is by Marvel UK comic illustrator, Simon Williams. (This technically came out before Halloween, but since this is our first holiday song roundup of the year, close enough)


Lucius have covered Vince Guraldi’s classic “Christmas Time is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was produced, recorded and inspired by late Richard Swift, and made at his studio back in April. They take the jazzy original and give it an early rock n’ roll twist. The 7″ single will be released December 7th via Mom+Pop Music and is the first in the Fug Yep Record series:

The Fug Yep Soundation is a 7″ record series created in loving memory of friend and musical hero, Richard Swift. Its goal, through releasing music, is to raise awareness for addiction and bring community to those suffering. Artists involved in Fug Yep include Dan Auerbach, David Bazan, Jessie Baylin, Fruit Bats, Gardens and Villa, Damien Jurado, Lucius, James Mercer, Pure Bathing Culture, Jonathan Rado, Nathaniel Rateliff, Shannon and the Clams and more to come.

Proceeds from the series benefit MusiCares and Music Support.

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While the North Pole gets most of the attention during the holidays, Scott McCaughey’s Minus 5 has collaborated with Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard for jangly song about the other end of the world: “Threw a holiday party for the penguins tonight / It was under attended and ended in a drunken fight.”

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Eric Clapton recently released his first ever full-length holiday album, Happy Xmas, which features his take on classic chestnuts, and a new original, “For Love on Christmas Day.” Eric did the artwork himself.


Eighties / ’90s Ramones bassist CJ Ramone has a Christmas 7″ coming out December 7 via Fat Wreck Chords. The title track is an original, while the flip features a cover of The Kinks’ classic “Father Christmas.” While they haven’t shared either song yet, we have a good idea what its gonna sound like.


There’s something that feels really perfect about Tyler, the Creator making music for a remake of The Grinch. You already heard his cover of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and now he shared an original song that he wrote for the film. It’s weird and dark and schizophrenic, just like most of Tyler’s own albums.

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Alec Duffy won “Lonely Man of Winter” in Sufjan Stevens’ 2007 Xmas Song Xchange Contest, in exchange for a song of his own, “Every Day is Christmas.” He held listening sessions that gradually reached across the county, but until now an official recorded version of the song hasn’t been available. Sufjan recorded a new version, and proceeds from sales go to Brooklyn non-profit performance space JACK, which Alec is the founder and artistic director of.

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Looking for even more new songs? Browse the ‘New Songs’ archive.

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