40+ New 2022 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.
PHOEBE BRIDGERS - "SO MUCH WINE" (THE HANDSOME FAMILY COVER)
Phoebe Bridgers' holiday cover tradition continues with her rendition
of The Handsome Family's "So Much Wine," featuring Andrew Bird and
Paul Mescal, and benefitting the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Read more
about it here.
THE SO SO GLOS - "THIS COULD BE CHRISTMAS" (ft. SPIDER STACY OF THE POGUES)
Brooklyn punks The So So Glos are back just in time for the holiday season with "This Could Be Christmas," an original punk Christmas song featuring Spider Stacy of The Pogues, writers of one of the most iconic punk Christmas songs of all time, "Fairytale of New York." "We are honored to have a Pogue on tin whistle and vocals," singer Alex Levine told Rolling Stone, "keeping it in that punk holiday spirit."
FUTURE ISLANDS - "LAST CHRISTMAS" (WHAM! COVER)
Future Islands put a faithful, synthy spin on the Wham! Christmas classic.
STARS - "CHRISTMAS ANYWAY"
Montreal's Stars have released "Christmas Anyway," a wistful mid-tempo
ballad to ring in the holidays. For Bandcamp Day, "the song's proceeds
will be split with the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal who provide
Indigenous women and their children a safe and supportive
HAILEY WHITTERS - "NEW BABY FOR CHRISTMAS" (GEORGE JONES COVER) & "MEET ME UNDER THE MISTLETOE" (RANDY TRAVIS COVER)
Fresh off announcing that she'll be touring with Shania Twain in 2023, country singer Hailey Whitters released two Christmas covers, one of George Jones' "New Baby For Christmas" and another of Randy Travis' "Meet Me Under the Mistletoe." Both are festive, lovely, and Hailey retains the classic charm of the originals while making them her own.
JIMMY FALLON & DOLLY PARTON - "ALMOST TOO EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS"
Jimmy Fallon and Dolly Parton duet on their festive new track, which namedrops Mariah Carey and is accompanied by an animated video.
LAUFEY - "THE CHRISTMAS WALTZ"
"The Christmas Waltz' perfectly captures the essence of Christmas for me," says Icelandic artist, Laufey. "My arrangement is inspired by Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker with a waltzy texture, layers of cello and sleigh bells. The song was recorded with a children’s choir to truly capture the childlike happiness that the holidays bring!"
LOS BITCHOS - "TIPP TAPP"
Los Bitchos are releasing a Christmas-themed new edition of their debut album, Let The Festivities Begin!, that's pressed on red vinyl and comes with a flexi featuring two holiday songs: the previously released “Los Chrismos” and new holiday song "Tipp Tapp." Say the band: “Born out of a deranged drunken dressing room version of an old Swedish Christmas song, comes the sinister sister of ‘Los Chrismos.' We imagine ourselves cautiously tiptoeing through a snowy Swedish forest at night holding torches and freaking each other out.”
THE NO ONES (MEMS R.E.M.) – “A CHRISTMAS VOICE (I DON’T WANT TO BRING YOU INTO THIS WORLD)”
The No Ones, aka R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, frequent collaborator Scott McCaughey (REM, The Baseball Project, Young Fresh Fellows) and Arne Kjelsrud Mathisen and Frode Stromstad of Norwegian Teenage Fanclub fans I Was a King, have a new album out next year but ahead of that they've released this pro-choice holiday song. "Maybe Mary didn’t have a choice / Maybe Jesus didn’t have a voice / But we did. Oh yeah, once we did."
THE LINDA LINDAS - "GROOVY XMAS"
It's been a minute since we've heard a genuinely good original punk Christmas song, but The Linda Lindas' "Groovy Xmas" is exactly that. The band says, "There are so many cool Christmas songs that we love to dance to, and a lot of them are by our favorite punk bands: Alice Bag, Redd Kross, Shonen Knife... We were inspired by them to write our own carol that you can add to your jolly playlist and enjoy at holiday gatherings! Please sing along and share: and we hope you have a very Groovy Xmas and an awesome new year!"
CHRISTIAN LEE HUTSON - "SILENT NIGHT"
As the holiday season approaches, Christian Lee Hutson has updated "Silent Night" with his own lyrics. "Some of my favorite songs are Christmas songs but they’re often about Jesus being born or old men riding on donkeys to give presents to a baby king," he says. “Lyrically, they’re all pretty scary and I imagine this baby holding humanity hostage. So, I wrote my own version of one of my favorites about spending Christmas in Ohio."
KURT VILE - "MUST BE SANTA"
Kurt Vile covered the Hal Moore and Bill Fredericks-penned 1960 song "Must Be Santa" (that was famously covered by Bob Dylan in 2009) for Spotify Singles: Holiday Collection, with help from his daughters. Read more about it here.
LIZZO - "SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS"
Lizzo puts her spin on Steve Wonder's 1967 classic.
TITUS ANDRONICUS - "DRUMMER BOY"
Titus Andronicus have released "Drummer Boy," which is a parody of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" with the lyrics changed to be from the perspective of "the little drummer boy" from the 1958 Christmas classic of the same name. Read more about it here.
ROSIE THOMAS - "WE SHOULD BE TOGETHER" (ft. SUFJAN STEVENS)
Rosie Thomas recruited her old pal/collaborator Sufjan Stevens for a new original Christmas song, "We Should Be Together." Read more about it here.
MICHAELA ANNE - HAPPY XMAS
Singer/songwriter Michaela Anne is getting in the holiday spirit with four covers: John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Wham’s “Last Christmas,” and Joni Mitchell’s “River.” Michaela makes them all her own, and they all sound great.
KADHJA BONET - "LITLE CHRISTMAS TREE"
Kadhja Bonet is putting out a holiday EP, California Holiday, on December 2 via Ninja Tune, and the first single is a lovely cover of "Little Christmas Tree."
DOUGIE POOLE - "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS"
"I was raised on Peanuts, so I’ve always loved that Vince Guaraldi Christmas record but other than that I never gave popular Christmas music much thought until recently," says Dougie Poole as an intro to his cover of this holiday classic that has been famously covered by Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. "My family did Christmas when I was a kid even though I am a Jew (my dad was raised Lutheran), but popular Christmas music - Saint Nick, milk and cookies, the sleigh bells, the militant spreading of cheer - it always maybe felt a little *too* gentile in a house full of Jews. I always half-wondered why there weren’t any killer Hannukah tunes out there and until sort of recently when I found out that like half of the American Christmas canon was written by Jewish songwriters hustling in the music industry. So, naturally, I started to warm up to it all a bit. I didn’t decide to sing 'Merry Little Christmas' for any other reason than that it’s got a nice bridge and it’s a pretty easy tune to pick up. We booked this session sort of last minute, and recorded to tape, so I wanted to keep the music relatively simple. But as I’ve come around to Christmas music, I’ve started to develop a sensitivity to the heaviness and that sadness that is lurking just under the surface of a lot of it, and 'Merry Little Christmas' captures that nicely, I think."
REMI WOLF - "LAST CHRISTMAS" & "WINTER WONDERLAND"
Remi Wolf delivers brightly stylized renditions of two holiday classics, "Last Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland."
WE ARE THE UNION - "YR ALWAYS ALONE (ON CHRISTMAS)"
There's nothing like a good, cynical, Christmas punk song, and ska-punk greats We Are The Union offer up exactly that with "Yr Always Alone (On Christmas)," which will appear on I Surrender Records' upcoming compilation I Surrender Sleighs (due 12/2). " The holidays are a time when so many people come together," the band says, "so it seemed like the perfect setting for a story about being alone."
MOLLY BURCH - "COZY CHRISTMAS" & "DECEMBER BABY"
Molly Burch wrote a pair of new seasonal songs "just in time for Thanksgiving," "Coz Christmas" is jaunty and festive while "December Baby" slows it down with acoustic folk.
ALICIA KEYS – “DECEMBER BACK 2 JUNE”
Serious Motown vibes on this holiday jam from Alicia Keys.
CHRIS CANTERBURY - "CHRISTMAS IN PRISON" (JOHN PRINE COVER)
Country singer Chris Canterbury gets in the holiday spirit with a cover of John Prine's "Christmas In Prison."
EUGENE MIRMAN & LUCY WAINWRIGHT ROCHE - "HOW DO YOU LIE TO
YOUR CHILD ABOUT SANTA"
Eugene Mirman recently started a new comedy label, PGF Records, in partnership with Sub Pop, and its latest seasonal release takes on the conundrum of what to tell your kids about Santa.
WOLF ALICE - "IN THE BLEAK MIDWINTER"
Originally released in 2021 as an Apple Music exclusive, Wolf Alice have now shared their rendition of Christina Rossetti and Gustav Holst's seasonal poem on all streaming platforms. "We have always thought ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ was a beautiful melody and we could kind of imagine it as some kind of melancholy pop song, so with that in mind we tried a version of it sometime last year which we thought you may as well have this year too, because you can never have too many Christmas songs," the band say.
PURE BATHING CULTURE - "2000 MILES" (THE PRETENDERS COVER)
Portland, OR's Pure Bathing Culture have recorded a cover of The Pretenders holiday classic "2000 Miles" from A Very Special Christmas. They don't stray for the original but it's a nice version for Bandcamp Friday.
SWANSEA SOUND (POOH STICKS, HEAVENLY) - "MUSIC LOVER"
Swansea Sound, the indiepop supergroup of Hue Williams of The Pooh Sticks and Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey of Heavenly/Talulah Gosh/Catenary Wires, have released a holiday EP, Music Lover, that's out via Rob & Amelia's SkepWax Records. It features "Happy Christmas to Me" and a cover of Cheap Trick's "Merry Christmas Darlings."
SAD13 - "WRAPPED"
The annual holiday song from Speedy Ortiz's Sadie Dupuis is here, and this year's incisively takes on year end lists, with Sadie singing, "If it’s not the list, why’d you bother with listening?" and "Year end lists are permanent forever."
CHUBBY AND THE GANG - "VIOLENT NIGHT (A CHRISTMAS TALE)"
UK punks Chubby and the Gang will release holiday single A Christmas Extravaganza on December 14 via Partisan. They've shared the a-side, which frontman Charlie Manning Walker says was written in reaction to the monotony of the same Christmas classics being played over and over every year. "I wrote this Xmas song sitting in my van freezing cold waiting to start work during the holidays," he explains. "Because I'm tired of hearing the same four songs on repeat over the season."
SARA NOELLE - "I'LL SLEEP 'TIL CHRISTMAS"
With a name like Sara Noelle, you kinda have to release a Christmas song, and this one is actually quite lovely. Says Sara, “This song is about fast-forwarding until Christmas, a time that somehow sheds all the craziness of the year and brings some respite and a bit of quiet magic.”
CHRIS ISAAK - "ALMOST CHRISTMAS"
Twangy crooner Chris Isaak has a new holiday album out, Everybody Knows It's Christmas, and here's one it's many festive tracks.
JEFF GOLDBLUM & THE MILDRED SNITZER ORCHESTRA - "THE CHRISTMAS WALTZ"
Jeff Goldblum and his band are having fun with "this song of mine in three-quarter time." Very groovy, Jeff.