Cool Yule Mix Dec21

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Cool Yule Mix

The Shins | Wonderful Christmastime
The Shins redo this quintessential holiday classic in a way that’s not only uniquely arranged, but also way more peppy than the band is on any other given day. They must really like Christmas.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono | Happy Xmas (War is Over)
This anti-war meets Christmas song from the brainy Beatle actually spoke out against the Vietnam War, but in such a passive/festive way that it’s become a holiday standard, and has been re-recorded by the likes of The Alarm, The Fray, Sarah McLachlan, and The Polyphonic Spree.

Owl City | The Christmas Song
Owl City, aka Adam Young, quietly records his sweetly-executed indie-pop albums in his Minnesota basement surrounded by icicles – and they hit the Billboard charts with much-deserved bangs. His Christmas song is equally as innocent and charming as the rest of his tunes.

Julian Casablancas | I Wish It Was Christmas Today
Hey, look, it’s Lower East Side singer Casablancas’ own Christmas single – although it’s one he borrowed from Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, and the rest of the SNL holiday crew. The original lo-fi track has been expanded into a NYC-rockin’ pop gem complete with buzzy guitars and singalongability.

Blondie | We Three Kings
Three cheers to Blondie for taking an obscure Christmas carol and turning it into this basement-cool version – and the music vid features the band performing live in the middle of a chilly, winter-barren forest.

The Killers | A Great Big Sled
Recorded back in 2006 as the band’s holiday single, the track was accompanied by “home videos” of the band members celebrating Christmas. As for the song itself, it features lead singer Brandon Flowers in a youthful mood, praising the simple delights of a day in the snow.

Smashing Pumpkins | Christmastime
“Presents are wrapped up/it’s beautiful beside the Christmas tree…” lead Pumpkin Billy Corgan sings, in a surprisingly grunge-and-drama free holiday tune that’s sincerely pretty and perfectly seasonal, complete with plenty of strings, bells, and even a few flutes for good holiday measure.

fun. | Sleigh Ride
This one’s a perfect choice for fun., as they have a way of careening through most of their songs that’s perfectly reflected in this track, with its imagery of jingling horses galloping on a snow-bedecked road.

Band-Aid | Do They Know It’s Christmas
Written by Ultravox’s Midge Ure and The Boomtown Rats Bob Geldof, this ’80s track is notable not only for its charity angle, but also because it’s great fun to play an audio version of “spot the celebrity,” as the vocals were sung line by line by everyone from members of U2 and Duran Duran to Sting, Paul McCartney and David Bowie.

Ron Sexsmith | Maybe This Christmas
Underrated Canadian singer-songwriter Sexsmith croons his way through this piano n’ chimes indie-folk number – “Maybe forgiveness/will ask us to call/someone we love/someone we’ve lost/maybe this Christmas” By the time this sentimental song ends, you might even be making a few phone calls yourself.

The Eels | Christmas is Going to the Dogs
Leave it to The Eels to find a completely different take on Christmas music – albeit one inspired by Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. “Well, Christmas is going to the dogs/we’d rather have chew toys than yule logs.” Finally, a song for the poor, beleaguered Max.

The Kinks | Father Christmas
A punk, witty, recession-friendly take on the typical holiday Santa song, this one dropped way back in 1977 from the Brit band, and tells the tale of a department store Santa Claus who is cornered by a group of poor street urchins who demand money and jobs instead of toys.