You can already hear the sound of money being thrown out the window for gift wrapping paper, of zippers popping due to overeating and, as blatant as a soap-opera-style slap in the face, of Christmas holiday hits. Mariah Carey’s world domination plan carries on through eternity, on every single radio channel and in every house, while your grandparents still inquire when you’re getting married and what your job role is exactly.
Nonetheless, it’s a fun time to be alive – virtually at least, thanks to all those Snapchat and Instagram filters to cover your sins. And to some good music that can cure your holiday blues. Now, if you already tried the alternate Spotify Christmas playlist trick and discovered even all those feature “All I want for Christmas is you”, we’re here to help. Here comes
The ultimate Low-Fi Christmas music playlist 2016
Since I can remember, my family listened to the “A Charlie Brown Christmas” CD while decorating the tree, baking cookies, and getting the best of the Christmas mood. My dad is obsessed with jazz music and that is how I grew up to love music. I just got back to listening to it and it makes me remember the times when my whole family was preparing for Christmas Eve in the living room together. On top of that, my dad always used to make a CD with songs played by either him, my sister or me – sometimes all of us together in a trio. This was the Christmas present for my mum. Unfortunately (or let’s say fortunately), I cannot share any of that music, because it was only produced for my mum.
I L.O.V.E Christmas! In my childhood it was accompanied by Bach, Händel and my mother singing Danish and English carols at the top of her lungs. As a tribute to her I always hear Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (the recording with Harry Christopher’s The Sixteen) at least once, all the way through, on maximum volume!
For the rest of the holiday season I stick to jazz, with a little Joni thrown in:
Dexter Gordon – The Christmas Song – Countless versions of this song, but Dexter says it better
Dr John – Il est Ne, Le Divin Enfant – Get some NOLA in your Xmas!
Joni Mitchell – River – Because you need at least one sad song on any Christmas playlist – and also there should always be some Joni.
Jazz at Lincoln Center feat. René Marie: Zat You, Santa Claus? – Two words: Big Band! Plus, this song cracks me UP!
Mulatu Astatke – Tezeta (Nostalgia) – Ethio-jazz is way too underestimated during winter holidays.
Tom Waits – A Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis – I think you’ve got all the info you need from the title. Crispy voice, good story, piano…where my bourbon at?
Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand The Rain – Goes well with snow too.
Radiohead – Give Up The Ghost – I’m sorry, is this playlist getting too emotional now?
Ella Fitzgerald – The First Noel – I was 8 when I sang this carol for my school’s Christmas play. It felt so nice; for a whole year after I thought I was gonna be a singer. Also, ever since, I’ve been looking for the best version of this song. While I still think mine was better, Ella does a pretty decent job.
Lisa Hannigan – Silent Night – I’ve always loved the rugged emotion that came out of the notorious Damien Rice / Lisa Hannigan collaboration – or should I say collision? This remake of Silent Night, a hidden track off Damien’s debut album “O”, is no exception; in fact, it’s the perfect representation of the subdued confrontation that the holiday season usually feels like to me.
Low – Just Like Christmas – This one reminds me of my years watching the O.C. and thinking real life could in fact feel like a West Coast teenage drama. “But you were wrong, / It wasn’t like Christmas at all.”
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Ain’t No Chimneys in the Projects – Because I want to honour this amazing lady who sadly is no more, but also because she made a hell of a funky Christmas album.
LCD Soundsystem – Christmas Will Break Your Heart – We didn’t say this was gonna be a merry playlist, did we?
There is no red line in my Christmas music taste other than, overall, quite a cheesy line. In my family, we sing a lot but many of our songs don’t sound very good when recorded – I can conclude after some research. But here is my top list:
Macy Gray – Winter Wonderland – I love here diva take on this classic song.
MC Eniar – Jul det Cool – Because my dad and I always do rap battles on this song. Fun and sad fact: this is one of the most popular Danish Christmas song but MC Eniar never earned a penny from it because he used the Jingle Bell jingle without asking, oops!
Caroline Henderson – Vil du være min i Nat – Because Xmas rhymes with love and it makes me cry.
It could be everyone (almost) – Driving home for Christmas – Here we reach the ultimate cheesiness level. This song will play non stop repeat when I’m driving home for Christmas.
Don’t worry, we’ve combined all these great songs in one playlist. May this cure your holiday blues and make your Christmas dinner less awkward! Happy holidays!