Hello Friends! Gabe here. So if any of you all know Mary and I, you know we are BIG music buffs. Going to concerts or listening to a great record over a drive is one of our favorite things. But when it came to Christmas music I kept finding that the Christmas music they play incessantly on the radio at 12:01am the day after Thanksgiving just wasn't cutting it for me. So that meant I had to dig a little deeper, and the following is what I found - my favorite Christmas Albums to date. Hopefully this will help freshen up your Christmas music collection too! If you have any favorite Christmas albums you really love, leave it in the comment section below! We'd love to know about it!
The first that comes to mind is A Fine Frenzy's Oh, Blue Christmas - EP - This is a happy and sweet little Christmas record that is fresh and unique. Her rendition of Winter Wonderland, her original Blue Christmas, and the mellow Red Ribbon Foxes make the purchase of this EP worth it.
Next up is Phil Wickham's Songs for Christmas. If you are looking for an folksy acoustic take on Christmas Music, then this is a great album to go for. Great vocals and unique arrangements make this album a great listen from start to finish. My favorites on this one are O Holy Night and Little Drummer Boy - a version you can really bug out to.
Over the Rhine, one of our favorite bands, has two Christmas albums to their name. The Darkest Night of the Year may be the most unique and serene Christmas record I've ever heard. This record is the perfect complement to the business and hustle that this time of year can bring. It is a very mellow, yet beautiful recording - with a few instrumental tracks interspersed with originals and classics. This is the perfect album to put on while you sit down with a glass of wine or coffee, next to a fire and a Christmas tree, and reminisce about Christmases past. Their rendition of Silent Night (Duet) is simply amazing.
OtR's other album, Snow Angels, is fantastic as well. It is mostly original Christmas songs - and all are fantastic. It is a bit more upbeat than Darkest Night, but every bit as poignant. Their original Darlin' (Christmas is Coming) is a great song that should be a classic for years to come.
One awesome EP that just came out is The Killers' (RED) Christmas EP. This is a fantastic collection of songs with a little spice. They collaberate with Sir Elton John for what in an instant classic in my opinion. And their song Don't Shoot Me Santa is hilarious and catchy. And Boots is a great song as well. A great EP all the way around.
Seabird is a band that most haven't heard of. However, they are a great band with a great Christmas album entitled Over the Hills and Everywhere. They are an indie-rock band, so if you're looking for Christmas with a little bit of an edge, this is for you. Their version of Go Tell it on the Mountain is amazing, as is Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. And their O Come, O Come Emmanuel is stirring, for sure.
Ben Rector has a great album out entitled Jingles and Bells. It is original, playful, and very fresh. His voice is so unique and warm - it fits perfectly with the collection of songs he chose. This is a great album to play during a Christmas party or for a snowy winter drive. His version of White Christmas is probably my favorite version of that song.
A band called Folk Angel has an amazing collection of Christmas albums out. There are 3 and all of them are great. My favorite out of the 3 is Vol 2 - Headed Home. If you are in to Folk music then you will love all of these albums. Their song Headed Home makes my list of favorite new Christmas songs and their slide guitar driven rendition of O Come O Come Emmanuel is just beautiful.
For a more indie rock feel we have the great band Future of Forestry. They have two volumes out entitled Advent Christmas EP - and both are fantastic. I don't think Christmas music has been made with such a unique and creative twist. Both albums are a mellow collection of songs infused with interesting drum beats and synths, pianos and strings. These albums are definitely worth a listen. Their O Holy Night is epic.
And lastly we have one of the most unique artists in the indie music scene, Sufjan Stevens and his album Song for Christmas. This is a stripped down folk album that gives you the feeling Sufjan is right there with you playing his banjo. This album is packed with 50 songs! He mixes instrumental tracks, original Christmas songs, classic songs, and old traditional hymns into one big collection of creative and gorgeous songs that encompass the joy that comes with the Christmas season and contrasts the over commercialized, over saturated culture we find ourselves in. This is a great and timeless collection, and if you're like me, you'll find some of these songs will leave you speechless.
Honorable Mention: Amy Grant - Home for Christmas - it's a classic - I grew up to this one, The Knife's song "Christmas Reindeer" - weird and awesome, Leigh Nash's album Wishing for This, Mindy Gledhill's fantastic album Winter Moon, Ingrid Michaelson's song "Snowfall," and Lady Antebellum's "Baby, It's Cold Outside."