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8 New Holiday Songs Released This Week

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The holidays are upon us and, whether you’re feeling festive or not, musicians are climbing aboard the holiday bandwagon with new songs for the season. (Even Billy Corgan says he wants to make a Smashing Pumpkins Christmas album even if that’s not on anybody’s wish list.) We offer to you a week’s worth of them, nestled in one place, like gifts under a tree.

ANDERSON .PAAK – “LINUS AND LUCY”

Spotify recently released this year’s update to their “Spotify Singles: Christmas Collection” and there are some bright stars amongst the 15 new songs added to the collection, like this one. Aside from being an excellent rapper, Anderson .Paak is also a beast on the drum kit, and he got to show off these skills on this recent take on the Charlie Brown Christmas standard, which is a far more upbeat, improvisational take on the classic original, complete with groovy bass lines, drum and trumpet solos, joy and good cheer.

JOAN JETT – “LITTLE DRUMMER BOY”

Also part of Spotify’s Christmas Collection, Joan Jett’s new cover of this holiday classic sounds exactly as advertised, with Joan’s signature vocal style atop thick guitar chords (in place of the usual horns or choir vocals), topped off with a fiery guitar solo.

JIM JAMES – “OH MY CHRISTMAS TREE”

The My Morning Jacket frontman shared this heavily intimate cover of a 2013 Dr. Dog holiday track, with Jim saying on Instagram, “Since I love to sing along to it on repeat so much every holiday season, well I figured I’d try out my own version too.”

AMY HELM AND THE WOOD BROTHERS – “CHRISTMAS MUST BE TONIGHT”

Songwriter Amy Helm has collaborated with folk trio The Wood Brothers to cover The Band’s holiday tune, as a heartfelt tribute to her late father, Levon Helm.

JHEREK BISCHOFF AND SONDRE LERCHE – “SURVIVING CHRISTMAS”

Norway’s Sondre Lerche and US songwriter Jherek Bischoff have teamed up for this gorgeous festive single and, according to the song’s Bandcamp page, it’s also packed with a warm message of humanitarianism and acceptance. Sondre’s cavernous vocals echo that of a classic 1950s crooner, matching the tracks’s soaring instrumentation.

RUPAUL – “HEY SIS, IT’S CHRISTMAS”

RuPaul wants to make sure your holiday season is fun with her new album RuPaul Christmas Party, that mixes new songs like this one with makeovers of standards. Expect to hear a few of these in RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular which airs December 7 on VH1.

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EMMET OTTER’S JUGBAND CHRISTMAS SOUNDTRACK

While this Jim Henson holiday classic is 41 years old, the special just now got its first-ever official soundtrack release. Interestingly, the songs aren’t specific to the holidays, but it’s hard not to think of “Where the River Meets the Sea” and “Ain’t No Hole in the Washtub” at any other time of the year. All the songs were written by the great Paul Williams (he’d work with Henson again on The Muppet Movie, the next year) and the soundtrack, released for RSD Black Friday, contains “Born in a Trunk” which was cut from the special.

BOB’S BUSKERS PRESENTS THE NATIONAL – “SAVE THE BIRD”

The National and Bob’s Burgers go way back, with the band reworking Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed songs from show with their somber gravitas. That tradition continues with “Save the Bird” from this year’s Thanksgiving episode where the Belchers set out to save a turkey from a trip to the slaughterhouse.

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Looking for even more new songs? Browse the ‘New Songs’ archive and our “Holiday Music” category.

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