With the holidays quickly approaching,, here's a look at some of 2016's best Christmas offerings, in lieu of our usual new music round-up!
The holidays are stressful. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and chill out, and no one knows how to do that better than Willie Nelson. On her latest Christmas album country queen Kacey Musgraves joins forces with the legend to extol the virtues of his favorite herbal refreshment and its powerful use all December long. "May we all stay higher than the angel on top of the tree," they sing. Amen!
It's easy to dismiss Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward's music as overly twee, especially when they're covering holiday songs. But hear us out on this one. On this cover of the underrated Sinatra classic, they show remarkable reverence. The tasteful arrangement and vocal restraint allow the melody and sentiment to really shine, without lapsing into overly cutesy or maudlin territory.
Other than it's inclusion in the UK Office's holiday special, we're not sure what connection Yaz's eighties synth-pop classic has to do with Christmas, but that didn't stop Kylie Minogue from covering it for her latest Christmas album. Even if it is an unintuitive song choice, the original is unimpeachable in its musical perfection, so we're totally fine with it joining the holiday canon, especially when her duet with James Corden is so delightful.
Slowcore trio Low are no strangers to Christmas music (they released an eight-track EP of holiday tunes back in 1999). But now they're back with another holiday original. "Some Hearts (At Christmas Time) is a bittersweet song built around sparse guitar, humming synths and Mimi Parker's angelic voice. It's a gorgeous melody that floats like falling snow.
One of Broadway's biggest talents took some time away from Hamilton to record a lovely Christmas album. His soulful rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is as pure and tear-jerking as they come.