When it comes to Christmas music I love the classics. Old songs sung by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra–you get the idea. And to be completely honest, I can’t really stand most modern Christmas songs. With the exception of Mariah Carey’s 1994 album Merry Christmas, of course.
Making Christmas music that sticks around is apparently much harder than we’d think. Most artists believe that you can just throw in some mentions of snow and presents to a background of sleigh bells and electronic sounds. Some just keep rehashing the same old songs every few years and call it a fresh new take on Christmas music. B, please.
Maybe I’m pickier than most, but it takes a lot to get me to listen and not cringe where non-classic Christmas music is concerned. Enter: Acoustic Christmas, a playlist carefully curated by the Spotify Christmas elves. This playlist hits just that spot that’s been craving something different after three consecutive weeks of listening to Crosby, Como, and Sinatra. My love for classic Christmas carols can only go so far.
Acoustic Christmas is a collection of folksy themed songs all relating to the holiday season. It’s a compilation of old classics like “Silent Night” and new songs like “The Lights Just Buzz” by Birger Olsen. The whole playlist moves swiftly, transitioning from one mellow sound to another. There are banjos, some country influence and definitely some old familiar Christmas classics that have been taken down a few notches to fit a fresh new acoustic sound.
Some highlights to look forward to when listening to this playlist are:
“Winter Wonderland” by the Sweeplings
A traditional Christmas song with a fresh new sound that somehow keeps the old sound alive and takes nothing away from it. It’s still fun and full of hope if only with a touch of wistfulness thrown in it. The lead singer’s voice (Cami Bradley) will give you total Jewel heyday flashbacks.
“Avalanche” by Handsome and Gretyl
“Avalance” is a catchy folksy tune that can be listened to at Christmas time or any other time of the year. It fits perfectly in this mesh of calming Christmas and winter-themed tunes. Think of it as the ginger palette cleanser between all your favorite rounds of sushi.
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by The Civil Wars
I’m such a big fan of The Civil Wars. To this day I still mourn their split. So imagine my ecstasy when I found a brand new, never heard before (by me) song on this playlist. I’ve always had the opinion that no one covers a song better than The Civil Wars. They’re untouchable. Their covers are so good they often surpass the original in awesomeness. Nothing has changed with their cover of this old Christmas Carol. They bring to it a delicately haunting and quiet sound that still manages to keep that Christmas melancholy that makes old Christmas Carols so beloved.
“Santa Baby” by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night
This cover of “Santa Baby” is a gold gem. Ever since this song was first performed by Eartha Kitt back in 1953 it has always been sung by a woman. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night take your preconceived expectations of this song and throw them out the window, as he sings this old favorite in his deep male bass voice. It’s comical, charming and satisfying. Even though every other part of this song stays practically the same, this gender-bent version is as fresh as the scent of a Christmas pine tree.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski
This right here is the one I consider the star of the show on the Acoustic Christmas playlist. In my previous post, I mentioned my guilt over liking this song due to the date-rapey inclinations in the lyrics of the original. However, it seems there are other people out there who, like me, also like this song, but went even a step further and fixed the lyrics so they’re more politically correct and ENJOYABLE. This version by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski is catchy, cute and funny all at the same time. Best part: you can listen as many times as you want and sing along without any of the guilt.
A lot of the songs might seem repetitive at first glance, mostly because there are a lot of covers of old Christmas Carols. *BUT* listening to this playlist you’ll find no two versions sound alike. Even the old rehashed songs all sound brand new and different from the others.
This is a great playlist to play all season long if you feel like curling up next to your Christmas tree with a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate. It’s mellow and soft enough to even play in the background while you read. It’s also very soothing if the Christmas preparations are drilling you down and you need something to help you maintain your cool. It’s also a non-intrusive playlist to play while you gather around with your loved ones this Christmas. It will quietly mind it’s business in the background while you go on about your life.
Bottom line, when you need some time to wind down and want to get into the Christmas celebration but either you despise regular Christmas music or just have a need for something different, fresh and calming, then this playlist is exactly what you’re looking for.
Let us know if you give it a listen and if you find any new favorites. Or share with us your own Spotify discoveries. We’re always looking for new stuff to listen to!