10 Indie Holiday Hits We Can’t Stop Listening To

IMG_1592Every Christmas season, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” climbs back up onto our most-played list, but at the same time,  we love to mix things up a little. Holiday carols are always classics and Mariah will always have a very important place in our hearts, but an indie take on your favorite Christmas song can really help you get down at any holiday soirée.

These 10 songs deserve a place on your holiday playlist— or, at the very least, a couple jam sessions this season.

1. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – She & Him

Zooey Deschanel’s sweet vocals add an easygoing air to this hit.

2. “Christmas Lights” – Coldplay

Sure, Coldplay may not be considered the most indie band, but this song makes a nice change from age-old melodies.

3. “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – The Polyphonic Spree

This cover of the original John Lennon/Yoko Ono song always makes us feel helpful on one of the happiest days of the year.

4. “Joy to the World” – Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens’s Christmas songs have a certain je ne sais quoi about them. From the tinkling instrumentals to the soothing vocals, there’s nothing we don’t love about this ethereal song.

5. “Auld Lang Syne” – Andrew Bird

This New Years hit always has us feeling sentimental, but Andrew Bird gives it more of an upbeat, folksy twist—perfect to keep your energy up.

6. “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” – Julian Casablancas

This upbeat song by Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas is the perfect soundtrack to a perfectly rocking Christmas.

7. “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – Death Cab for Cutie

Yes, Michael Bublé may do this song justice, but who can resist the slightly angsty vibes of Death Cab? Save this song for a slow dance.

8. “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” – The Head and the Heart

This sappy song gives us warm fuzzies every year. The acoustic twist that The Head and the Heart gives it is only a plus.

9. “Wonderful Christmastime” – The Shins

It’s official: this song has overtaken Mariah Carey’s Christmastime hit as the most-played holiday song. But we’ll always know The Shins as one of the first indie bands we came to love.

10. “Last Christmas” – The XX

For a dreamier take on Wham!’s electronic 1985 hit, The XX slowed down this Christmas favorite and added plenty of its trademark echoing grooviness.


Photo Credit: michelledufflocq