If you’ve turned on the radio or walked through a mall in the past month, then you know that the holiday season, and in turn holiday music season, has arrived. Whether you look forward to blasting your holiday music shame-free for the entire month of December, or have invested in noise-cancelling headphones to avoid the Christmas tunes, there’s new holiday music for everyone. Yes, even the person who hates holiday music. Bah humbug, listen to Tyler, The Creator’s new Grinch soundtrack and feel yourself represented for once.
Check out the best new holiday songs of 2018.
There’s a serious void of great Hanukkah songs and Walk Off The Earth and Scott Helman are doing their part to rectify the situation. Their new track “Happy Hanukkah” will have listeners dancing and singing along, regardless of how they celebrate the holiday season. What a jam!
For the first time, Canadian singer/songwriter Serena Ryder is putting her own spin on the holiday season with her new album Christmas Kisses. Ryder gave a jazz makeover to classics like “Blue Christmas” and “Santa Baby,” recording nine famous holiday tracks, as well as the album’s title track and only original song, the upbeat, folky-jazz “Christmas Kisses.”
Gwen Stefani released her first Christmas album You Make It Feel Like Christmas in 2017. The No Doubt frontwoman is getting her mileage out of the holiday, re-releasing the album again this year with five bonus tracks. Stefani also dropped a music video in November for the title track, a duet with real-life boyfriend and country superstar Blake Shelton. It’s pretty darn cute.
The only thing that surprises us about John Legend releasing the Christmas album A Legendary Christmas is that he didn’t do it earlier. The EGOT winner has done just about everything else, leaving the holidays as the only remaining musical stone unturned. Legend teamed up with fellow greats like Stevie Wonder and Esperanza Spalding for the album, comprised of eight classic Christmas songs and six originals, including “Wrap Me Up In Your Love” and “By Christmas Eve.” Legend went full holiday-mode, even filming a special for NBC that included his wife Chrissy Teigen, as well as Kris Jenner, Meghan Trainor, Derek Hough, Jane Lynch, Darren Criss, Neal Brennan, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, and more. So, everyone. It included everyone. Watch A Legendary Christmas With John and Chrissy now on CTV.ca.
William Shatner enlisted the help of ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons for his spoken word/rock mash up of “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It’s just as odd as it sounds. Even odder? Shatner titled his holiday album Shatner Claus, which features guest vocals from Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Brad Paisley, Todd Rundgren, and Judy Collins. It’s just weird enough to work.
Singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson already boasted a track record for stunning Christmas originals, most notably her beautiful Sara Bareilles duet “Winter Song.” Now Michaelson has delivered a full holiday album that you’ll want to keep on repeat all year long. Michaelson successfully delivers beautiful renditions of holiday standards, reimagining songs like “Mele Kalikimaka” with the 1950s feel, but her sole original single “Happy, Happy Christmas” stands out as an instant classic.
English singer Jessie J’s “This Christmas Day” has an early 2000s pop and R&B vibe that follows in the same Top 40 radio tradition of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe.” The rest of the album features strong covers, but “This Christmas Day” has us wishing for more original tracks from the singer on her first Christmas album.
Rapper Tyler, The Creator doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for an artist to write new songs for the latest retelling of the classic Dr. Seuss Christmas story, but it works. It’s a Christmas miracle.
If you want to have the best Christmas that ever existed, your playlist needs this beat-heavy party track from RuPaul. Otherwise, sashay away.
A capella singing group Pentatonix returned with the third holiday album this year, releasing That’s Christmas To Me in 2014, A Pentatonix Christmas in 2016 and now Christmas Is Here!. The fivesome featured standard holiday classics, like “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bells,” while also throwing in a few surprising choices, including a cover of The Neighborhood’s “Sweater Weather.”
Aloe Blacc wrote eight new songs for his first holiday album, Christmas Funk, which was released in November. The singer also put a funky spin on newer holiday classics, including “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Last Christmas.” As for the album’s aggressively titled lead single “I Got Your Christmas Right Here,” Blacc filmed a music video that could be confused for a Gap ad. A holiday Gap ad, but a Gap ad nonetheless.