The holidays are here, and Christmas is right around the corner! Every year, artists contribute covers and original songs to the yuletide canon. Some sound modern and bangin', others are melancholy and mushy, and many have grand, blast-from-the-past vibes. Most new songs don't stand the test of time, but some are so good, they end up becoming seasonal standards.
This year, we took a look at several new holiday releases from our favorite artists. Below are the 10 songs we haven't been able to stop replaying this December. From indie jams to party anthems, LGBTQ+ works and new tunes created by your favorite 90s acts, here are the freshest tracks you should be blasting at your 2022 holiday gathering.
1. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" - Mac DeMarco
Mac DeMarco just released his annual Christmas cover for 2022, and this one is particularly adorable. It's got a simple-yet-retro feel, proving that artists don't need to go overboard in order to make poignant Christmas songs. We think this specific cover gives us one of the best vocal performances from DeMarco. It's one of those songs that works well for the beginning of a party, when everyone's just getting warmed up.
2. "A Nonsense Christmas" - Sabrina Carpenter
Disney kid Sabrina Carpenter has been proving herself to be a skilled artist on the rise. Her latest song "A Nonsense Christmas" is tailor-made for those throwing wild and raunchy parties this year. This contemporary song is way more naughty than nice, and it's refreshing given that most mature songs in the Christmas genre typically don't sound too great. (We're looking at you, Lady Gaga's "Christmas Tree!") With tongue-in-cheek rhyme schemes and a sexy pop beat, this one was created for hip 20-somethings in mind. We can't wait to carol along to this bop at our holiday gatherings this year!
3. "If We Make It Through December" - Phoebe Bridgers
Ms. Bridgers never misses, and this sapphic tune is just one of the many songs in her discography that might bring tears to your eyes. "If We Make It Through December" is melancholy, but hopeful and even a tad romantic. It's great because it can work for the whole month of December, not just Christmas time. It comes from Bridgers' latest holiday EP So Much Wine. If you need more soothing tunes to play at your gathering, we recommend putting on that project.
4. "December Back 2 June" - Alicia Keys
This has been one of the biggest holiday hits of 2022. We've heard it play everywhere: from television broadcasts to radio stations and inside shopping malls. What makes "December Back 2 June" so great is its energy, R&B vibes, upbeat pace perfect for dancing, and of course, Alicia's earth-shattering vocals. "December Back 2 June" is a cool song that will have you feeling anything but frosty. Like June itself, it's warm, bright, and oh-so fun.
5. "Winter Wonderland" - Remi Wolf
We're so happy Remi Wolf has added to the Christmas song canon with their rendition of "Winter Wonderland!" This bedroom pop-y version of the seasonal standard has California chill vibes. It's got all the markings of a Remi Wolf classic, with psychedelic music production, a tight beat, and effortless vocals from the dog-loving artist. Remi also released a version of "Last Christmas" this year, and it's just as awesome.
6. "Someday at Christmas" - Lizzo
Lizzo performed her rendition of "Someday at Christmas" on SNL, and it's made us look at the Stevie Wonder song in a new way. Lizzo's songs are such party anthems, but this ballad reminds us that she's got serious vocal chops to boot. “I chose to cover ‘Someday at Christmas’ not just because it’s a classic, but because it’s a reminder to us that almost 60 years later, we are still fighting for peace, compassion, and equality,” Lizzo said about her cover in a statement, according to Billboard. “A friendly reminder to spread love and kindness this holiday season.”
7. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" - Camila Cabello
Camila Cabello is bringing on the mariachi vibes in her cover of "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and we're so here for it! Cabello has stated on Instagram that the tune is her "favorite Christmas song," and you can tell a lot of care was put into this recording. It's got so much flavor, and reminds us of warm fireplaces, a festive Christmas dinner, and the smell of gingerbread cookies. We hope you get to listen to this one alongside your family at home.
8. "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" - Thomas Rhett
Looking for a "Christmas time in Tennessee?" Hit up Thomas Rhett's cover of "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas." While Mac DeMarco's version of the song is subtle and quiet, this edition brings on the full orchestra. It's loud, grand, and full of tasteful country twang. Rhett doesn't waste listeners' time with this perky tune. It's sure to get your energy up, and may even make you say "yeehaw" in glee!
9. "Night Before Christmas" - Sam Smith
This unique and relaxing Christmas song is full of raw emotion from Smith. They give a melancholy and mighty vocal performance in "Night Before Christmas," which is a sultry story all about the loneliness of being away from your lover during the holidays. We can see this beautiful song enduring for many Christmas seasons after this one, and we're excited to see who will cover this jazzy tune in years to come.
10. "Christmas in New York" - Backstreet Boys
The Backstreet Boys didn't just release a single for the holidays...they dropped a full album. Of the 13 songs on their yuletide record A Very Backstreet Christmas, it's easy to point out that "Christmas in New York" is the best. It's saucy, slow, and has a teaspoon of that 90s flair the group is known for. Basically, it's so Backstreet Boys it hurts, and it makes us want to travel up to NYC for the holidays this year.
Looking for some holiday music? We've got you covered! Head to Live365.com for a selection of holiday stations.
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Article Image: The artists in this article with festive colors - Sam Smith wears a green suit at the premiere of "Judy" in 2019, Alicia Keys wears a bright red dress at the 2019 Grammy Awards, and Sabrina Carpenter wears a sparkly silver dress at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. (Featureflash, Jean_Nelson, and Jean_Nelson via DepositPhotos.)