Listeners’ Favorite 25 Indie & Alt. Rock Christmas Songs – Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Death Cab for Cutie, The Killers
IRC’s Best Indie & Alternative Rock Christmas Songs series is the largest, most comprehensive, and in recent years, most popular, alternative Christmas playlists collection on the web. There are also dozens of indie and alt. rock songs about Hanukkah, winter, and the holidays in general, intermixed with the Christmas songs.
If you’re a regular visitor to this site, chances are you simply cannot stand – or can only in small doses – traditional, mainstream Christmas music. The traditional Christmas music, you could say, still has its place, but there are so many fantastic alternative Christmas, holiday and winter-themed songs. There are the well-known alternative Christmas songs from the classic rock era, such as John Lennon’s original (and now classic) “Merry Christmas (The War Is Over),” Bruce Springsteen’s famous live cover of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” or the The Kinks’ superb punk rock classic, “Father Christmas,” which tells the story of poor kids who threaten Santa Claus to give them money and give the toys “to the little rich boys.”
Then, of course, there are loads of terrific original Christmas songs released during the past 20 to 25 years from indie and alternative artists and bands, such as Pearl Jam‘s “Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time), which is the No. 1 listeners’ pick for Christmas 2013; plus, The Killers‘ “Don’t Shoot Me Santa Claus;”Guster‘s “Donde Esta Santa Claus;” The White Stripes‘ “Candy Cane Children,” and Julian Casablancas‘ “I Wish It Was Christmas Today.”
In addition, there are also the dozens of cover songs of traditional Christmas tunes that have popped up over the past decade from well-known indie and alternative rock artists, such as Sufjan Stevens, The National and Richard Parry, who teamed up to record “Silent Night” a few years back; “Jinglebell Rock” by Arcade Fire (even though it’s basically an outtake, the cover ended up as No. 2 overall this Christmas season)
released, such as , whether it’s a choir singing “O Christmas Tree There are also indie and alt. rock songs related to Hanukkah, Kwanza, and winter intermixed with the dozens of Christmas music playlists. If you can’t listen to the traditional Christmas songs that have been around for decades, or even the highly commercialized Christmas songs of the modern era (past 30 years), IRC offers a collection of more than 500 Christmas songs, ranging from some classic rock standards (i.e., ) to excellent original Christmas and holiday songs from DIY bands few people have heard of.
There are also covers of traditional Christmas songs from some of the best indie and alternative artists and bands of the past 20 years to terrific holiday and winter-related songs from popular to relatively well-known artists spanning the past 30 years, including amazing rare, live, demo, and officially unreleased tracks.
Because of the huge success of the Christmas playlists series again this season, we’ve put together this brand new Top 25 playlist that reflects listeners’ 25 most streamed and downloaded alternative and indie rock Christmas songs over the past 30 days (Nov. 24 – Dec. 24) from dozens of playlists and altogether some 500 songs. There have been over a quarter of a million visits to playlists during this time period.
While this Top 25 is fantastic, there are hundreds more songs you’ve got to hear in one playlist after another. As the results below indicate, there are rarely heard Christmas songs from both well-known and obscure artists and bands, and covering a range of styles, including rock, pop, electronic, folk, country rock, jazz, metal, among many others – covering the gamut of alternative Christmas music unlike any other place on the web.
“Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time) “- Pearl Jam
“Jinglebell Rock” – Arcade Fire
“Sleigh Ride” – The Late Greats
“Silent Night” – The National, Sujfan Stevens and Richard Parry
“In This Home on Ice” – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” - Death Cab For Cutie
“Don’t Shoot Me Santa” – The Killers
“9 Flowers in December” – Mazzy Star
“Father Christmas” – The Kinks
“Candy Cane Children” – The White Stripes
“Blue Christmas” – Bright Eyes
“I Wish It Was Christmas Today” – Julian Casablancas
“Christmas on the Beach” – Irene
“The Friendly Beasts” – Sufjan Stevens
“Donde Esta Santa Claus” – Guster
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” – Bright Eyes
“Holiday” – The Hopefuls
“A Marshmallow World” – Los Straightjackets
“Merry Christmas” (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) – The Ramones
“Anorak Christmas” (Club Mix) – Sally Shapiro
“All I Want For Christmas is You” – Countdown
“Santa Stole My Baby” – Mistreaters
“Christmas Party” – The Walkmen
“Thanks For Christmas” – XTC
“The Christmas Song” - The Raveonettes
“Last Christmas” - Jimmy Eat World