Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

Top 5 Indie Christmas Songs To Jam Out To This Holiday Season

Anyone who’s worked retail or shopped in any mall during the holiday season has heard Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on repeat. It’s a good song that perfectly embodies the festive energy that the end of the year brings for the first twenty plays. After that, though, it just becomes a drag to listen to. So, if you’re less into pop and want something more mellow to jam out to as Christmas approaches, this list is the one for you.

This first one is actually a Slade cover of their iconic song. Merry Christmas Everybody by I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (better known as IDKhow) has the typical punchy and chipper piano found in every well known Christmas song along with a violin and trumpet. The chorus is sung by a group, with clapping, cheers, and the subtle hi-hat tapping that sounds like the shake of reindeer bells.

A departure from his usual emo-rock genre, Gerard Way delivers Dasher with dreamy languor, showcasing the soft side of his vocals. Featuring Lydia Night, this jazzy song is a wanton ballad about escaping reality and leaving a miserable life to run away with a lover. If you believe Gerard Way, then that lover is, in fact, Dasher the reindeer. It doesn’t sound like the typical Christmas song, but it surely has the themes. 

It wouldn’t be an indie song list without some Twenty One Pilots in the mix. Christmas Saves The Year has it all: jingling bells, the distinct ambient sound of driving through snow, and synthy holiday cheer. And, of course, that distinct singing from frontman Tyler Joseph that is equal parts mournful and positive. The slightly muffled drums kick in halfway through, granting this song an added boost of nostalgia, alongside its reminiscing lyrics.

Figure 8 by Peach Pit is an honorary holiday song. While the themes have nothing to do with Christmas, it carries the vibes in its beautiful guitar riffs and soft use of the hi-hat and snare that doesn’t distract from the dreamy singing. It’s reminiscent of early 2000’s songs that exude the somberness that accompanies the holidays, like Chasing Cars or Somewhere Only We Know. And the lyrics speak about ice skating which, if you squint, could be a Christmas theme.

Much like with Figure 8, This December by Ricky Montgomery has less to do with Christmas cheer and more so carries the vibes of the season. He sings about loneliness that comes with the holidays but also a determination to grow and become happier as the years go on, even if December brings back bitter memories. It’s one of the more optimistic songs on this list, and for a good reason. 

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