By Sean Titone
December 8, 2018
Another year is nearly in the books, as we look to a New Year full of potential and possibility. The weather is colder, snow is falling, and wonderment is in the air. Neighborhoods across America are lit up with displays tacky and classy, all totally awesome in their own unique way.
When it comes to music this time of year, it’s almost become a rite of passage for artists to deliver their take on a holiday standard or create something original that could one day become a new standard. A melancholy air often floats through some of the best Christmas music, but that’s okay because it can be a time of year that many people feel a little down. That’s what the music is for – to hopefully make things just a little bit better and lift your spirits.
Did you know artists like Khruangbin, Old 97’s, Jim James, Anderson .Paak, and The Minus 5 with Ben Gibbard all released new holiday music this year? Kacey Musgraves may be raking in the year-end accolades for her excellent 2018 album Golden Hour, but did you know she released an album of Christmas covers and originals in 2016 and it contains a duet with Leon Bridges?
Every year when I listen to this mix and update it with new finds, I develop a new favorite, and this year it’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Christmas All Over Again.” If you haven’t seen the legendary band’s performance aired from the White House in 2000 as part of the A Very Special Christmas TV special, I highly recommend checking it out.
Many classics are represented here with Bruce Springsteen, The Ronettes and Mariah Carey all making their expected appearance. But there’s also a strong indie rock contingent with new ones from Phoebe Bridgers, Wavves, and rising New Zealand act The Beths. In a hilarious and swinging jam, retro singer/songwriter JD McPherson laments getting socks for Christmas in an instant classic that we can all relate to this time of year.
I hope you’ll give this playlist a follow and enjoy it with family and friends in the weeks to come.