Indie Christmas Playlist


Spotify has a huge assortment of festive playlists. You can hear anything from LCD Soundsystem creating a Christmas tune to the classic Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. Maybe you’re looking for something that will help get you in the holiday spirit but you’re not really feeling the usual classics that are on repeat in the shopping malls and on the radio.

Well – I’m here to help! My music and holiday obsessions have joined forces to create the ultimate playlist for the holiday hipster in you.

On the list below, you’ll find an assortment of songs that will not only have you ready to build gingerbread houses and wrap presents, but you’ll be tapping your toes and grooving to the tunes as well!

Indie Christmas Playlist:

Darlin’ (Christmas is Comin’) – Over the Rhine
Released in 2006, this is almost a “classic” for some millennials. All jokes aside, the wife and husband duo that make up Over the Rhine have the perfect sound for a holiday song. Karin’s voice is smooth and comforting, and pairs perfectly with the jingling bells in the background.

Mele Kalikimaka – She & Him
I have a massive crush on Zooey Deschanel, so I had to add at least one She & Him song. Mele Kalikimaka is a fun, upbeat classic that Zooey nails with her slightly raspy tone. The song is also a little quirky, like Zooey, so it seemed like an obvious fit.

Christmas Island – Bob Dylan
I promise these won’t all be tropical-themed songs. Just these last two. Bob Dylan’s rustic voice may be the last thing you think of when it comes to a holiday song. However, his voice, combined with the sweet sounds of the ukulele and the feminine backing vocals create a lovely harmony that’ll make you forget all about the snow you may or may not need to shovel later.

Dear Mrs. Claus – The Barr Brothers
I absolutely adore everything about the song. The Barr Brothers, a Montreal based band, have created a gorgeous mix of folk, indie and Americana, that have brought into this Christmas song. The song is fun, with lyrics implying that Mrs. Claus is a little lonely while Santa is delivery gifts and she could use a little loving. This song is a bit more soulful than some of their regular stuff, but it’s brilliant nonetheless.

Christmas Everyday – The Frights
I love the lyrics in this song, they’re just so honest. “It’s a gift for my mom that she’ll probably return, it’s a candle that smells like a peach when it burns. So call up the family give ‘em all a hello. Tell ‘em I’ll see them soon but I probably won’t.” Hilarious.

I Wish It Was Christmas Today – Julian Casablancas
If you dig The Strokes, you’ll probably dig this next track. The festive jam comes from The Strokes’ lead, Julian Casablancas. It’s pretty standard as far as indie-rock tunes go, but it makes for a real foot stomper of a holiday song.

Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Okay, maybe The Waitresses don’t count as indie, but how could you leave this jam out? It’s different from the other classic Christmas songs, with it’s chill vibe and all-lady band. It was one of the few songs I got stoked to hear 17 times a day when I worked in retail.

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? – The Head and the Heart
The Head and the Heart have such mesmerizing voices. I could fall asleep and dream happily all night listening to them. Their version of What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? is just about as lovely as it gets.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – Cat Power
Cat Power’s voice is like none other. It’s so sultry, so gorgeous, perfect for this classic Christmas carol.


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