Blink 182 – “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”
“It’s Christmas time again/time to be nice to the people you can’t stand” sings Mark Hoppus on one of Blink 182’s attempts at a holiday song (their other one is called “Happy Holidays You Bastard”). Though this is one you probably won’t want to play while everyone is sitting around the fireplace, it is guaranteed to take you back to the elementary school days when Blink was falling in love with girls at the rock show and asking the questions of “what’s my age again?” I miss those days.
Julian Casablancas – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”
Like a child that is too amped up on Christmas Eve to fall asleep, Julian Casablancas’ holiday-themed song is full of energy. The Strokes front man takes classic Christmas sounds like sleigh and church bells and entwines them with a fast paced guitar riff and crashing drums. In the song, Casablancas channels his inner kid in saying that he doesn’t care about anything except that Christmas is coming, which is something that we can all surely relate to.
Kanye West – “Christmas In Harlem (featuring Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Vado, Cyhi Da Prynce, Pusha T, Musiq Soulchild, Teyana Taylor & Big Sean)”
In the lead up to Kanye West’s magnificent My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, the rapper released a new song every week, known as GOOD Fridays. The only GOOD Friday track that came after the album was released was the holiday themed “Christmas in Harlem.” The song features an array of guests, each bringing a different style and story, much like how a Christmas dinner should be. Kanye, of course, is at the head of the table, but he is happy to share with everyone, because that’s what the holidays are all about, right?
Sufjan Stevens – “O Come O Come Emmanuel”
The most traditional holiday song on the list, Sufjan Stevens’ take on the Christian hymn becomes a folk ballad with a plucking banjo and high-pitched electric guitar that comes in during the chorus. The track is minimal, and every sound works together to create a cohesive harmony, letting you feel the words “rejoice,” instead of just hearing them. The song is part of the massive, 42-track Songs for Christmas that was released in 2006, and is a refreshing take on a Christmas classic.