Wow, this is the fourth year we have put together a list of Indie Christmas songs. Once again, we got the amazing Bregan Ford (aka Hubbard) to make a nice cover for the occasion. I almost didn’t make a list this year as there was a serious lack of appropriate material, but in the end, I put my headphones on and searched the Internet for 40 hours. And if these aren’t enough for you, you can always check our lists from years previous: Indie Christmas Songs 2010, Indie Christmas Songs 2009, and Indie Christmas Albums 2008.
Summer Camp – All I Wonderful Christmas Is You
This is the best take I have ever heard on this song. I just love it. The “aahhhhss” are just fantastic. You could play this one for your grandparents and they would just think it was swell. This is also Summer Camp’s second year on the list. Those two must really like Christmas.
Beach House – I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun
Here is a new one from Beach House. Good to hear some new music from one of my favorite bands from 2010. Thanks for adding jingle bells to this song or we might have mis-labeled it as the new single.
Passion Pit – All These Trees
This is a fun little ditty that Passion Pit put out last year. Man, can we get a new album already?
Los Campesinos! – Kindle A Flame In Her Heart
Here is one from last year. Nice tune definitely in the style you’ve come to expect from this band. The lead singers voice really gives you mixed signals when he wishes you were here.
Class Actress – Silent Night
Class Actress does a nice striped down rendition of this holiday classic. Toro Y Moi has a song called Promise Brings on this same compilation as well but like many of the songs on this compilation, it isn’t worth listening to. There is literally a cover song on this compilation of the barking dog songs from the 90s.
Winston Jazz Routine – Through the Snow
The Winston Jazz Routine seem to have dropped off my radar lately, but I did find this nice Christmas song from a couple years ago. Great song and I wish these guys would put out some new stuff.
The Knife – Christmas Reindeer
This has all the elements of a classic Knife tune. You might be thinking to yourself that you’ve heard this somewhere, but I assure you this is strictly a Christmas release (from last year I believe, but we had yet to include it, so here it is).
The Barr Brothers – Dear Mrs. Claus
The Barr Brothers are on tour with Muffin favorites Blind Pilot right now so they are okay in my book. This is a great song, very reminiscent of old 50s style Christmas songs. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone told me this was a Sam Cooke cover.
Chris Bathgate – Auld Lang Syne
I don’t know if I have ever written about Chris Bathgate on the Muffin, I think I discovered his music on Pandora years after it had been released. Well, he is great, and his voice can’t be touched on this rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Damien Jurado – Christmas Time Is Here
Damien Jurado is probably in my top 5 of artists I have listened to the most in my life. It is not a hobby I share with others as much of his music is incredibly depressing. I mean, if you try playing your favorite Jurado tunes to your friends they are going to have an intervention. This Christmas tune somehow manages to be uplifting while maintaining his unique voice. His voice almost sounds unrecognizable in this style of singing. Here is a Dawes cover of the same song if you just can’t get enough.
Half-Handed Cloud – A Favorite Christmas Gag Gift
Half-handed Cloud is labelmate to Sufjan Stevens and the king of one minute songs. His Christmas song from a few years back is appropriatly titled to add a little humor to your Christmas listening.
LCD Soundsystem – Christmas Blues
This one came out last year but too late for the list. Had to put this on the list. It isn’t very Christmas-y to tell you the truth, but it sure makes up for that in that it is LCD Soundsystem.
Lightspeed Champion – Christmas in Prison
Okay, this one is from like four years ago, but did you know Lightspeed Champion put together a Christmas EP? It is called the XMas EP and you can find it at the Pirate Bay if you’re into that kind of thing.
Apollo Ghosts – Honky Tonk’s Blue Christmas
Once upon a time Train brought this amazing lo-fi group to our ears. They put out a weird little Christmas cover this year to remind you they still celebrate the Holidays in Brooklyn under trees made of PBR.
Fitz and the Tantrums – Santa Stole My Lady
Fitz and the Tantrums arrived in 2011 a little late to the party Mark Ronson started, but not without some fan fare. As far as original Christmas tunes go this is one of the better ones. The old school soul feel of the band fit perfectly for crafting a timeless-sounding song. This might be the best Fitz song I’ve ever heard.
My Morning Jacket – I’ll Be Home for Christmas
This one features The Head and the Heart and is part of a full EP of Christmas songs. I’m not a huge fan of this band, but if you are their straight-forward takes on the classics will surely be your cup of tea.
And to finish off the list here is a pretty dance-tastic Jingle Bells remix James Yuill did for Guiness.