From Sufjan Stevens to Miles Davis: Five alternative holiday numbers for your playlist
This holiday season you must move beyond Mariah Carey and George Michael and give other alternate, non-traditional Christmas or spiritual-inspired numbers a try. As much you like some good ol' carolling or listening to Neil Diamond on loop, this holiday season explore some funkier and danceable numbers for your Christmas party playlist. Maybe you'll discover your new holiday anthem!
The Little Drum Machine Boy, Beck
The American singer-songwriter rose to relevance in the '90s with his experimental lo-fi style of music; his The Little Drum Machine Boy is by no means a faithful re-iteration of the beloved Christmas carol with the (almost) same name but is in fact, a Hanukkah-themed funk track with generous doses of rap. The song which released in 1996 is still a holiday favourite two decades later.
Sister Winter, Sufjan Stevens
One of the most interesting artistes of this era, Sufjan has consistently used Christian themes in his music and has been applauded for it. Between 2001 and 2006, the Oscar-nominated singer and multi-instrumentalist released five separate EPs under the title Songs for Christmas. Sister Winter is a serene and lovely track from the fifth volume of the set and was originally recorded just for his friends and family.
Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern), Miles Davis
Who'd have thought the legendary Jazz trumpeter would make for such a holiday sensation? Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern) was conceived when Davis' record label asked him to make a Christmas song; he approached the jazz vocalist Bob Dorough and came up with the not-so-cheery theme. The number had a hint of satire as the lyrics went, 'Lots of hungry, homeless children in your own backyards/ While you're very, very busy addressing twenty zillion Christmas cards.'
The Burning Babe, Sting
British icon Stong's ninth studio album If On a Winter's Night was a compilation of winter-themed holiday music with a focus on folk and traditional cultures across Europe; the number The Burning Babe features lyrics which have been borrowed from a 16th-century poem and depicts an image of a baby Jesus burning bright on a cold night.
All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, Dread Zeppelin
Dread Zeppelin is an American band famous for their reggae cover of Led Zeppelin numbers with an Elvis Presley impersonator as the frontman; this number is a wild ride because it steers clears of all the holiday stereotyping and one of the few tracks you can listen to on a loop.