It’s a few days after Thanksgiving, and, like most everywhere else in the country, in New York City the usual Christmas songs are starting to be played at establishments everywhere there's a sound system, from the tiny bodegas to the biggest department stores.
We know there’s plenty of you out there who don’t want to hear that same old, one-size-fits-all mainstream radio template of holiday songs that essentially boils down to a heavy dose of mid-century crooners with a splash of Paul McCartney or Mariah Carey thrown in now and then. So, we’ve put together an iTunes mix of about 40 excellent Christmas songs, most of which you likely haven’t heard at all. While some of these tunes are traditional Christmas songs that have been covered by newer artists and others are original Christmas songs that have received little or no mainstream radio airplay, taken together, all these songs cover a very wide range of genres. The only criteria for the mix was that the songs be memorably well-performed, rather unfamiliar or underplayed, but also accessible. In other words, this mix is comprised of music you might hear at a party where the DJ is playing fresh Christmas songs to satisfy all kinds of musical tastes.
To that end, we’ve arranged the mix like you’re arriving at the start of a party: We begin with some ambient tunes, then things pick up from there, building intensity as we move through alt-country, indie pop, loungey electronica, jazz, soul, reggae, soca, salsa, meringue, Latin pop, hip-hop, and rock. Hopefully, after you’ve listened to the mix, you’ll feel good that there’s a lot of fresh Christmas music out there of many styles, and by artists you might not have known had risked potential embarrassment to record Christmas songs!
Some highlights of the mix include the Cocteau Twins' dreamy take on "Frosty the Snowman," which manages the difficult task of sounding ethereal and otherworldly while remaining faithful to the song's simple melody; a remixed version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" that uses thick beats and well-placed horn samples to do a great job of sexing up this often-played song (featured on the album Merry Mixmas that's pictured); and Soca General's "Santa Bring de Soca," a quick, happy burst of tropical-sounding festiveness that will surely get you to look for a place to put your winter coat if you hear the song while anywhere near a dance floor.
So, throw some of the songs from this mix on your iPod, and you might even be able to get through the whole season without even hearing "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
You can listen to the mix here.
Cocktail Hour, Corporate Events, Country (vintage & new), Dinner Music, dj nyc, Electronica, Fashion Shows, Fresh Oldies, Hip-Hop, Holiday / Christmas Songs, Indie Music, Jazz, Latin Music Genres (Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, Latin Jazz, etc.), Reggae (roots & new), Soul