Alternative Holiday Playlist

With the holidays here, you may have already exhausted your Christmas playlist, or perhaps you’re looking for new additions to boost that holiday cheer. No matter what your tastes are or what mood you’re in, we’ve got you covered:

Indie Pop — “Sing You to Sleep” by Paper Route

This number comes from the group’s decade-old Christmas EP. While these early tracks lack some of the finesse and complexity of Paper Route’s later work, “Sing You to Sleep” features the same heartfelt sincerity. Overall, with gentle melodies and simple instrumentation, it carries the fuzzy wistfulness of fond holiday memories.

Put on this airy track for those thoughtful nights watching the snow fall outside.

Electrohouse — “Nutcracker Suite” by Disco Fries

Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet suite is reimagined for a lively house party. Disco Fries plays with an interesting balance between the bass-heavy energy of house music and the daintiness of the ballet. While it is an altogether solid choice for a party, it stays true to the original pieces, from the light chimes and pizzicato of the Sugar Plum Fairy to the familiar sound of sleigh bells.

Play it at your next big holiday gathering to warm up the crowd while nodding to a nostalgic holiday favorite.

Metal — “Bring the Season” by I Declare War

Probably the most unconventional track on this list, I Declare War mixes deathcore with festive tunes on their 6-minute EP. While most artists reinvent familiar holiday classics, this group completely and utterly destroys them. The juxtaposition between the jolly — all the band members singing in chorus and the familiar backdrop instrumentals — and the deadly — growling, guttural vocals and vicious beat breakdowns — makes for an experience that is both startling and hilarious.

This EP is your go-to when you want to turn the holidays upside down.

Alternative Rock — “Don’t Shoot Me, Santa” by The Killers

The music video for “Don’t Shoot Me, Santa” details a wacky alternative story where instead of bestowing gifts Santa seems to have been stuck at the North Pole for too long and is trying to shoot a captive Brandon Flowers dead. While the premise sounds alarming, the video’s execution provides comic relief and Flowers’ earnest, iconic voice makes it a very Killers song (no pun intended).

When you’re feeling ironic about old Saint Nick, put this one on repeat.

Electropop — “Joy to the World” by Sanjoy

Sanjoy’s take on the popular carol opens festive and warm, then morphs into a very fresh, almost tropical track. The funky layered synths and swung rhythms breathe lush, new life into centuries-old “Joy to the World.” Clips of a more traditional rendition balance out the newer, carefree vibes.

If you’re looking for a great track to bring people together, this is it.

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