It’s everybody’s favorite part of the year: Finals season! Just kidding. However, as soon as you finish your last exam, you’ll be free to enjoy your winter vacation and the upcoming holidays. Whether you’re in the camp of people who have been blasting holiday music since Halloween, people who can only stomach the songs one day of the year or anyone else in between, you have to admit holiday music’s infectious nature has an uncanny way of setting the festive mood. Here’s some selections from my own curated “Happy Holliedays” playlist chock full of holiday music, and you can access the complete playlist on Spotify. It might seem pretty pop-heavy, but it’s got a range from fun bops to sentimental classics for all scenarios. (I also would like to apologize for the dominance of Christmas songs – I tried to steer away from anything overly religious.)
“All I Want for Christmas is You” Mariah Carey
Basic, I know, but if I were to mention any must-have on a holiday playlist, it’s this song. People act like they’re sick of it, but come on. Carey’s powerful vocals coupled with the lyrics that everyone no doubt knows makes this an immediate mood booster, whether you’re in charge of the holiday party music or are bumping to some music on the way home.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” Sam Smith
Smith’s flawless voice makes this simple Christmas song, which sometimes plays as boring, nostalgic and calming. The song is perfect for a cozy night in when you’re doing some holiday decorating or baking some cookies. When you feel like you’ve had your fill of sickly sweet pop tunes, this is the perfect palate cleanser as a heartwarming update of a classic.
“If It Be Your Will” Haim
This glittering cover plays beautiful homage to Leonard Cohen’s 1984 classic and is featured on the artist-collaborated “Hanukkah+” album. The sister trio that normally releases alternative rock music combine ethereal synths, guitar and airy vocals that doesn’t bring down the mood, but instead sets a serene tone.
“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” Michale Buble
Michael Buble has become almost synonymous with holiday music, and for good reason. His dulcet tones are immediately recognizable and their warm quality is perfect for the cozy qualities that the holidays should bring.
“Believe” Josh Groban
This song has a special place in my heart, from playing at the end of the classic holiday movie, “The Polar Express” to being the song that was chosen for my fifth-grade class to sing. Groban’s unmistakable baritone will make you want to believe in anything – the magic of the holidays, As on your exams, that you won’t get asked about your love life during the annual family party.
“Santa Tell Me” Ariana Grande
Grande’s fun bop has aged well as the singer has rocketed to superstardom in the past few years, and for good reason. If you’re looking for a pop holiday song that everyone will enjoy but perhaps have not heard over 100 times, Grande can most certainly deliver.
“Last Christmas” Wham!
This song almost doesn’t sound like a holiday song at first listen (until you get to the mentioned Christmas, of course), and that, coupled with its sentimental lyrics and timelessness only add to its playability. It’s been covered by a lot of artists, but this is one classic that I believe is best in its original form.
“Winter Wonderland” Pentatonix (feat. Tori Kelly)
Pentatonix has dominated the holiday genre since they rose to popularity, and I’m not mad about it. Their creative and masterful compositions elevate holiday music from just something that retail stores may play during shopping season to a soundtrack treat that people will take the time to appreciate in their listening queues. Kelly’s wholesome voice is a welcome addition to this fun collaboration that will make you wish it was snowing outside.
“I Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” Idina Menzel, Billy Porter
There’s a quintessential warm quality that certain artists’ voices have that is perfectly suited for heartwarming holiday music, as I have mentioned, and Idina Menzel definitely has it. Even before she became known as Disney’s ice queen Elsa, Menzel’s Broadway prowess has always awed me. Coupled with other Broadway powerhouse Billy Porter, this cheeky duet is a treat to the ears.
Thumbnail photo courtesy of @emmamatthews from Unsplash.com.
Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.