20+ New 2019 Holiday Songs Out Now
The holidays are upon us, and whether you’re feeling festive or not, musicians are climbing aboard the tinsel bandwagon with new songs for the season. We offer to you a week’s worth of them, nestled in one place, like gifts under a tree. In this case, as its our first roundup of the season, we'll be going back a little further than a week.
VARIOUS ARTISTS - HANUKKAH+
The new indie-star-studded Hanukkah+ with Yo La Tengo, The Flaming Lips, HAIM, Adam Green, Jack Black, Loudon Wainwright III, Craig Wedren, Alex Frankel (Holy Ghost!) and more is here. The compilation was curated and executive produced by longtime Wes Anderson music supervisor Randall Poster and the HAIM song is a cover of “If It Be Your Will” by the late Leonard Cohen (who also has a new album out this month).
OH LAND – “WISHES”
Copenhagen artist Oh Land is in the spirit of the season with this new holiday-themed song. “I love the magic feeling around Christmas time where everyone seems to agree that glitter is a great idea,” she says. “I wanted to write a song that sonically got me in the right mood but also had a message that is true to my reality — which is that time seems to be the one thing that’s most desirable and hardest to achieve enough of. We live in an efficiency culture where more is better and it’s very easy to end up working yourself out of your relationships. This song is a reminder to make time for the people that actually makes your life truly valuable. That time is irreplaceable, and therefore our biggest gift.”
ANA GASTEYER - SUGAR AND BOOZE
Former Saturday Night Live cast member Ana Gasteyer brings her wit and talent to this new album of holiday music, both originals and covers. Her old pal Maya Rudolph shows up for "Secret Santa." "I love records from the late 50's and early 60's that never scrimped on sound," says Ana. "That's hard to do in this day and age, but we sought arrangements that utilized a proper band, including horn and percussion and created as full and lush a sound. The holidays are also the one time of year we can let it rip, so we wanted to make a record that was festive, fun and celebratory. A holiday record should land on a turntable and create a warm, uplifting ambiance, leaving you free to tend bar, wrap presents and live in the magical moment."
LETTERS TO CLEO – OK CHRISTMAS EP
If you need a little more poppy indie rock for your holiday playlist, Letters to Cleo are here with the four-song OK Christmas EP that includes covers of songs by The Kinks (“Father Christmas”), Elvis (“If I Get Home On Christmas Day”) and the Dogmatics (“X Mas Time – Sure Don’t Feel Like It”) plus an original, “Miss You This Christmas.”
SASAMI – LIL DRMR BB (EP STREAM)
Sasami Ashworth brings dissonant drone and low-fi electronics to two holiday classics — “Little Drummer Boy,” “Silent Night” — and writes one of her own (“It’s You”) on this Christmas-themed EP.
PUSS N BOOTS - DEAR SANTA EP
Puss N Boots, the twangy, jazzy trio of Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson, and Catherine Popper, are unabashed fans of the holiday season, having thrown musical Christmas parties for a few years now, and they just released the Dear Santa EP featuring their live show classic, "Christmas Butt."
ROB HALFORD (of JUDAS PRIEST) - CELESTIAL
Celestial is Halford's second album of Christmas music, with heavy metal interpretations of traditional classics like “Away in a Manger”, “The First Noel”, “Good King Wenceslas” and more, as well as for original songs including "Donner and Blitzen" and the title track.
PIEBALD - PIEBALD PRESENTS TO YOU, A MUSICAL CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE
Piebald's first new music in 12 years is... a Christmas EP. "Maybe you’re thinking, 'This is weird of Piebald, who haven’t made new music since 2007 to musically rebirth themselves with a 3-song holiday release.'" The band says. "Well, our response to you is this, 'You’re not wrong.'" Read more here.
FRANCIS LUNG - "TO MAKE ANGELS IN SNOW"
Former WU LYF member Francis Lung gets in the holiday spirit with "To Make Angels In Snow." If you like Brian Wilson and Phil Spector's Christmas music, you'll probably like this festive, Wrecking Crew-esque song too.
ANDREW BIRD - "HARK! EP"
Andrew Bird released this new EP where he puts a folkier spin on holiday classics, accompanied by a funny announcement video. And yes, there's whistling.
KEVIN MORBY - "BLUE CHRISTMAS"
Kevin Morby shared this cover of Elvis Presley's standard "Blue Christmas," which is a more synthetic and drum machine-based take on the classic original. Kevin's twangy vocal style also plays up the song's nostalgic mood.
MOUNTAIN MAN - "WHITE CHRISTMAS"
Folk trio Mountain Man offer up a tender take on the classic "White Christmas."
LUCY DACUS - "LAST CHRISTMAS"
Lucy Dacus puts her own unique, punk-inspired spin on this Wham! classic.
KACEY MUSGRAAVES - THE KACEY MUSGRAVES CHRISTMAS SHOW
Kacey Musgraves' Christmas special is out now on Amazon Prime and it also comes with an accompany soundtrack album of Christmas music by Kacey and the show's guests, which include Lana Del Rey, Zooey Deschanel, Fred Armisen, Camila Cabello, Leon Bridges, Troye Sivan, and James Corden. Kacey and Lana do "I'll Be Home For Christmas," Kacey and Camila do "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," Kacey and Fred do a comedic version of "Silent Night," and it's got other Christmas classics and some originals too. Kacey also played her original Christmas song "Glittery" on Fallon.
YOU WISH: A MERGE RECORDS HOLIDAY ALBUM
Merge Records has released a holiday compilation with original music and covers from 14 of the label's artists, including Mac McCaughan & Annie Hayden, The Essex Green, Fruit Bats, William Tyler, Hiss Golden Messenger & Lucinda Williams, Eric Bachmann, Telekinesis, Mikal Cronin, Shout Out Louds, and more.