Looking to throw a holiday party but dreading that clichéd, cheesy, same-old Christmas music? You’re in luck. There’s a whole host of awesome indie holiday music out there, sure to give your party the festive yet hip vibe you’re looking for. Here are your best bets.
1. She & Him – A Very She and Him Christmas
In 2006, actress Zooey Deschanel and indie darling M. Ward joined forces to create She & Him. After producing two successful albums in the following years, they decided it was time to put their spin on holiday music with their own collection of Christmas songs in 2011. Though the songs are often spare and simple, their beauty and meaning shines through. For a classic yet modern take on your favorite Christmas songs sure to please even the oldest of fogeys at your party, this album is a great bet.
2. Sufjan Stevens – Songs for Christmas
King of the indie folk-pop-electronica genre, Sufjan Stevens found mainstream success in 2005 with his album Illinois, a concept album featuring the hit “Chicago”. In 2006 he decided to compile the various Christmas music EPs he had created over the years for friends and family and release them as a box set called Songs for Christmas. His take on Christmas songs vacillates between joyful and understated while always maintaining Stevens’ unique sound. This set is essential for any Christmas-inclined indie music lover.
3. Bright Eyes – A Christmas Album
Connor Oberst’s project Bright Eyes has dominated the indie scene for nearly 15 years. Bright Eyes released A Christmas Album in 2002, the proceeds of which going to the Nebraska AIDS Project. While his somewhat bleak take on Christmas tunes might not leave you in the cheeriest of spirits, any Bright Eyes fan will undoubtedly appreciate Oberst’s take on the classics.
4. Polyphonic Spree – Holidaydream: Sounds of the Holidays Volume One
Polyphonic Spree has captured countless indie hearts since 2000 with their lush, symphonic, psychedelic sound and dazzling performances (there are more than 20 members in the band!). Their take on holiday music toes the line between staying true to the classics and maintaining the band’s own unique sound, the result of which is a fun and lighthearted yet meaningful set of Christmas tunes.
5. My Morning Jacket – Does Xmas Fiasco Style
The psychadelic Southern rock sounds of My Morning Jacket have propelled them to widespread success in recent years. Back when they were just starting out in 2000, they released their own take on Christmas tunes with Does Xmas Fiasco Style (as in “My Morning Jacket Does Xmas Fiasco Style”). Fans of the band will love the album, but these Christmas songs aren’t the most traditional-sounding, so it might be best to reserve this music for a party where Grandma and Grandpa won’t be in attendance.
6. Weezer – Christmas with Weezer
Weezer’s pop rock/punk stylings have captured the hearts of fans for more than 20 years now. Their Christmas album features straightforward holiday favorites with a rock and roll spin. While Weezer stays true to their sound on this album, they really didn’t tinker with the classics too much, which makes it a suitable Christmas album for any setting.
Why not stock up on all these albums for your holiday party this year? Make sure you give them a listen before hitting the “buy” button on the e-commerce platform just to be on the safe side.
Author Byline: Maddie Marshall is a groovy chick with some groovy taste in holiday tunes. She won’t steer the eager listener wrong with this bunch.