Graphics by Nicole Bae
The holiday season is always one of my favorites. After being away at school for so long I love being able to finally see all of my family and friends. Picking out a Christmas tree, having movie marathons, and making (and devouring) Christmas cookies will always be wicked fun. However, holiday music is, in my opinion, the best part of the holidays. Listening to any Christmas music–classic or modern–makes every activity instantly better. So, when you're stressing about buying the perfect gifts with only a few days left until Christmas, let the music bring you back into the cheerful holiday spirit.
"Wonderful Christmastime" - Paul McCartney
I had to kick off this holiday playlist with none other than "Wonderful Christmastime." Whenever I hear this song it immediately transports me back to decorating the Christmas tree with my family. With my dad being arguably the biggest Beatles and Paul McCartney fan, I’m pretty sure he put this track on our Christmas playlist more than once. Also, no matter how many times he’s told the story, he never forgets to remind me that McCartney plays every instrument on this song. It’s filled with synths, Christmas bells, and even has a cheery guitar solo. Also, despite this song being released over thirty years ago, it doesn’t sound remotely dated.
"Marshmallow World" - The Regrettes
An electric guitar playing a nuanced melody of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” crashes through orchestral sounds to open the song. This track will definitely pump you up to continue your online quest for the ideal gifts. The Regrettes simultaneously capture that Christmas sound while also integrating a flare of rock. Listen out for the seamless transition from guitar to a saxophone solo in the bridge. Also, don’t hit the next button before catching a few seconds of an instrumental “Deck the Halls” at the end.
"Make it to Christmas" - Alessia Cara
Even though Cara just released this song in November, it brings back the feel of a classic Christmas song. “Make it to Christmas” begins slowly with a synth then transitions to an upbeat song with violins, bells, drums, and a small choir backing up her effortlessly beautiful vocals in the chorus.
"Is This Christmas?" - The Wombats
Right as the song begins, you can instantly recognize lead vocalist Matthew Murphy’s signature voice. The track stays closer to The Wombats’ typical indie rock sound with an added hint of holiday influence. Traditional Christmas-sounding horns peacefully wind down the tune after its more lively verses and chorus.
"I Won’t Be Home for Chanukah" - TeamMate
For all the Jewish people out there, here’s an insanely catchy Chanukah track to get into. Besides Adam Sandler’s incredible and comedic Chanukah tunes, there aren't too many songs about this holiday. However, this Chanukah song’s my favorite. The indie-electronic pop duo comprised of a former couple now make music together. The simple beat and euphonic vocals create a feeling of peace that helps ease the stress of the holiday season.
"Fool’s Holiday" - All Time Low
All Time Low reintroduces the energy to this playlist with this track. The song begins simply with bells playing until it’s quickly interrupted a few seconds later by a pick slide. As always, the pop-punk band did not fail in creating yet another infectiously catchy tune. Bells carry throughout the song as lead guitarist Jack Barakat hits us with an electrifying guitar solo. If you’re like me and always in the mood for pop-punk, check out the rest of this compilation album called “Punk Goes Christmas.”
"The Lights and Buzz" - Jack’s Mannequin
This track brings a sense of tranquility and gratitude that’ll make you truly appreciate life and all of the people around you. Because of that, it’ll inspire you to find the ideal gift for your loved ones during your online shopping spree. Also, if you’re a fan of Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness, don’t skip this track. McMahon’s the main songwriter for this pop-rock quartet, and as a result, their music very much resembles his.
"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" - John Lennon, Yoko Ono (ft. Harlem Community Choir and Plastic Ono Band)
What holiday playlist would be complete with the iconic song “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)?” This song’s yet another that’s always playing around Christmastime at my house. Adding to the tranquil theme from the previous track, Lennon and Ono wrote this to advocate for world peace. The choir backing Lennon’s vocals illustrates the sense of community and love he aims to achieve. Rather than being a stereotypical Christmas song filled with cheerful lyrics and sleigh bells, Lennon incorporates a political twist. He asks us to think about those who live in fear because of war. He also suggests that we need to try to bring about the end of wars.