The funny thing about Christmas is that it’s almost impossible to listen to music related to the holiday without feeling like a giant fucking dork. Christmas songs are not cool, despite all the ways we may try to dress them up with celebrity glitz. Play instrumentals and classical versions of the songs all you want: they’re so dorky.
So what should you listen to? Are there any cool or funny or interesting Christmas songs? I have a few ideas: below are ten alternative Christmas jams that you can add to your rotation of holiday jams and not feel like a total loser when playing them.
Nathan Fake‘s “Xmas Rush (Dub)”
A reinterpretation of The Carpetners’ “Merry Christmas, Darling” (which is one of the most grating Christmas songs), Fake turns the song into a mixed up dance floor ready reimagining where Karen Carpenter’s voice is stretched into a robotic groan. It’s quite nice and definitely the coolest holiday song ever made. Fake has a thing for this too, as you’ll see below.
SLINK’s “Pink Christmas”
SLINK is a collaboration between Hunx and SSION. They released this song in December 2014 and it’s absolutely the gayest Christmas song ever created. It’s a lo-fi electro romp that talks a lot about fucking Santa and having him rain stuff on you. There is spoken word and panting and it is just great.
Sally Shapiro‘s “Annorak Christmas”
No, this is not technically a Christmas song: it just has the word in the title. But, it’s a sweet and wintry song about loss and love and is probably in my top ten of best songs ever made. You do sweet Swedish songs so well, Sally.
Summer Camp‘s “Christmas Wrapping”
I actually heard this version of The Waitresses’ Christmas classic last night at J.Crew and I was pretty obsessed. It’s so cool and quaint! I’ve never heard any other song by Summer Camp (and I’m not really sure who they are) but I love this version of the song.
Eurythmics‘ “Winter Wonderland”
Anything Annie Lennox does is just fabulous. This is no exception. Relatedly, the album it comes from—A Very Special Christmas—is quite great. A lot of good jams on that album!
Lady Gaga‘s “Christmas Tree”
This one I put on as a joke. It’s ridiculous and full of Christmas sex puns.
Nathan Fake’s “Silent Night”
While “Xmas Rush” is a completely new something, Fake does like the classics and this version of “Silent Night” is a great example of that. Also, for whatever reason, there is no electronic holiday mix that features Fake’s peers or Pampa Records stars (which is who released “Xmas Rush”). Why is that? There is a huge market for that (Me.).
Lindstrøm‘s “Little Drummer Boy”
This song is a fraction of the greater forty minute track that explodes “The Little Drummer Boy” into a giant ass space house Christmas meditation. Who needs the aforementioned electronic mix when you have this? (I do. I still need that mix.)
Fetty Wap‘s “Merry Xmas”
This song dropped yesterday and, although it is hysterical, good on Fetty for being aggressively on-trend and trying to keep us from forgetting him. I love this dude!
I know, I know, I know: this is not a Christmas song. But! It reminds you of the holidays and that you are going to take a holiday and that your holiday will be so nice. Ahhhh: Madonna era Madonna. There is nothing better. (If you are a traditionalist, you can listen to her version of “Santa Baby.” It’s fine. This song is better.)
If you want more holiday jams, some more recommendations: It’s Christmas 18, A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector, and The Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection are wonderful. Add those to your queue of holiday hits!