Christmas Time Is Here: Songs to Soundtrack Your Holiday

Video Roundup
Dusty Henry

There's a chill in the air, lights are adorning trees all around Seattle, and jingle bells can be faintly heard off in the distance. It can all only mean one thing: Christmas time is here again! Per tradition, KEXP has rounded up some of this year's best Christmas songs from some of our favorite artists. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Dude York - "Break-Up Holiday"

It's hard to pick just one song from Dude York's Half-Time for the Holidays, but it's hard to beat the blaring sounds of "Break-Up Holiday" coming out of your speakers. For anyone who's nursing a heartbreak this season, pour yourself a glass of egg nog and turn up the volume as Dude York gives you the best gift of all: emotional catharsis.


Chance the Rapper & Jeremih - "Family For"

Last year, Chance The Rapper and Jeremih blessed us with a collaborative Christmas mixtape titled Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama. We all must have been on the "nice list" this year as the duo are back at it again with a new expanded version of the tape, dubbed the "re-wrapped" version with new tracks. On "Family For," the Chicago natives regale us with a heartwarming message about family coming together for the holiday. It's soulful and warm like a crackling Yule log, complete with a gospel choir backing up Jeremih's sultry tones.


Run The Jewels - "Jingle Jingle (Santa Party)"

It's becoming a Christmas tradition for Run The Jewels and Stephen Colbert to collaborate on a Christmas-themed skit on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, with RTJ playing the heel to Colbert's jolly disposition. This year, the rappers have plenty of material to work with as they list all the reasons to boycott Christmas with a "wake up, sheeple" message. The vicious beat cuts back and forth between RTJ delivering some hard truths and Colbert smiling in the most festive looking living room ever. Perhaps El-P says it best as he raps, "Ain't no chestnuts roasting, only souls of the flames."


Wavves - "Christmas Time is Here"

San Diego rockers Wavves put their spin on the timeless classic theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas. As you might expect from the band and their love of heavy distortion, it's a fuzzed out affair that leans heavier toward shoegaze than most of what the band's done thus far. They even manage to distort samples of Charlie Brown and Linus' iconic dialogue.


Colleen Green & Horatio Sanz - "I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

There was a time when "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" was just a novelty song featured in a Saturday Night Live skit. Since its debut, it's taken on a new life of its own, being covered from everyone from Julian Casablancas to Cheap Trick. Now the song has come full-circle as SNL alum Horatio Sanz recently teamed-up with Hardly Art artist Colleen Green to cover the song live. Can we cement this song as a classic now? Next I'm hoping Green and Opera Man do a collab EP.


Lisa Prank & Seattle's Little Helpers - “All I Want For Christmas (Is To Be With You)”

Dude York aren't the only locals getting into the Christmas spirit. Lisa Prank & Seattle's Little Helpers (those Helpers being Bree McKenna from Tacocat and Tristan Jemsek from Dogbreth) dropped a holiday EP last week titled Gimme What I Want. The lead single plays off of the Mariah Carey song with an eerily similar name, though it goes in an entirely different direction. However, the message is clear. More than FireSticks and Oculus Rifts, the best present is being with the one you love.


DMX - "Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer"

About five years ago, rapper DMX went on a radio show and performed "Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer," accompanied only by his own drumming on a table. It's about as amazing as it sounds. So much so that the clip quickly went viral. Fast-forward to today and we have ourselves a true Christmas miracle: X has blessed us with a proper studio version of "Rudolph." I never knew this classic song needed barks and ad libs, but leave it to DMX to show us the way.


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