Hands up: who likes Christmas? OK, quite a few of you, that’s good. Alright, who loves Christmas? Ah yeah got a few more. Now, final question: who hates Christmas? There we go! Quite a few in the back as well, I see you.
Love or hate the holiday season, there’s something we can all agree on: the Christmas songs have got to go. Not all of them, but a sizable chunk need to be deleted from all streaming platforms, taken away from physical media, and thrown in a giant chasm. Not a single solitary soul needs to hear ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ or ‘Last Christmas’ or ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ ever again, and if you delight in playing those songs on repeat, you are clearly a masochist.
But hold on, the Christmas song is a flexible medium. There are too many great Christmas songs, or Christmas-adjacent songs, to simply right off the entire genre as pap. Asl long as you look in the right place, you can find a holiday tune to fit any mood you might find yourself in this festive season.
That’s why we’ve cobbled together multiple different playlists to enjoy for the yuletide this year. If you’re looking for something a little funkier, check out the Motown Christmas playlist we’ve assembled. But if your tastes lean a little more alternative, then check out the Indie Christmas playlist.
Featuring new legends like Phoebe Bridgers, Sufjan Stevens, and Courtney Barnett along with originators of the form like The Smiths, Pixies, and the Ramones, there’s proud 40 year history of indie rock giving some solid counter-programming to the traditional carols of the season.
Whether you’re looking for a new twist on a Christmas classic, a fresh songwriting venture into the Xmas spirit, a “not really about Christmas” Christmas song, or a song that doesn’t really have anything to do with Christmas (but does del with wanting presents, or withstanding the cold of winter), then check out the Far Out 40 indie Christmas playlist.
Far Out 40: The Indie Christmas Playlist
- ‘Christmas Song’ – Phoebe Bridgers
- ‘Christmas Caller’ – Beach Bunny
- ‘White Winter Hymnal’ – Fleet Foxes
- ‘Baldur’s Gate’ – Shame
- ‘Winter’ – Tori Amos
- ‘Two Queens in a King Sizes Bed’ – girl in red
- ‘Lo! How A Rose E’er Blooming’ – Sufjan Stevens
- ‘Christmas in LA’ – Vulfpeck
- ‘Don’t Shoot Me Santa’ – The Killer ft. Ryan Pardey
- ‘Everything Gonna Be Cool This Christmas’ – Eels
- ‘Oh You (Christmas Blues)’ – LCD Soundsystem
- ‘Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want’ – The Smiths
- ‘Winter’ – Kandle
- ‘Alone on Christmas Day’ – Phoenix
- ‘A Change at Christmas (Say It Isn’t So)’ – The Flaming Lips
- ‘Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time)’ – Pearl Jam
- ‘Christmastime’ – The Smashing Pumpkins
- ‘Danny Says’ – The Ramones
- ‘Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over’ – Jack White
- ‘Calling on Mary’ – Aimee Mann
- ‘Taking Down the Tree’ – Low
- ‘Winterlong’ – Pixies
- ‘Christmas Treat’ – Julian Casablancas
- ‘Winter in My Heart’ – The Avett Brother
- ‘Boxing Day Blues’ – Courtney Barnett
- ‘Home Alone, Too’ – The Staves
- ‘A Dreamer’s Holiday’ – Julien Baker
- ‘Christmas is Home’ – Oscar Lang
- ‘Did I Make You Cry On Christmas? (Well, You Deserved It!) – Peach Pit
- ‘Baby Jesus is Nobody’s Baby Now’ – Julia Jacklin
- ‘Boxing Night’ – Frightened Rabbit
- ‘Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree’ – The Magnetic Fields
- ‘Christmas Isn’t Safe For Animals’ – of Montreal
- I Believe in Santa Claus’ – Dr. Dog
- ‘A Christmas Duel’ – The Hives & Cyndi Lauper
- ‘Listen, The Snow is Falling’ – Galaxie 500
- ‘Jesus Christ’ – Big Star
- ‘Christmas in April’ – Andrew Bird
- ‘It’s Going To Be a Cold Winter’ – Blossoms
- ‘Happy New Year’ – Frank Turner & Jon Snodgrass