Christmas songs: 60 amazing indie tunes for the Yuletide season

Merry Christmas, folks

Christmas songs hit the radio like clockwork every year, and they’re always exactly the same ones. Like the perennial arrival of mulled wine, stilton slabs, Brussels sprouts and turkey five ways that accompanies the Christmas period, too often the Yuletide tunes we get given are the same old ones. To which we say: no. No more. Enough. And with that in mind, team NME has compiled a playlist of Christmas songs to warm the festive cockles of your heart – without resorting to any Slade or Wizzard whatsoever.

Admittedly, there are plenty of songs you’ll recognise immediately: there’s Summer Camp‘s hazy take on ‘Christmas Wrapping’; ‘Please Be Patient’, Feist‘s hilarious adaptation of the carol ‘Angels We Have Heard on High’; and Carly Rae Jepsen‘s glitzy rework of Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’.

Elsewhere there are plenty of brilliant original compositions, ranging in tone from Marika Hackman‘s festive answer to Chris Rea, ‘Driving Under Stars’ to The Chemical Brothers’ vibey ‘Snow’.


Follow the playlist of our 60 favourite alternative Xmas anthems below – and check out all NME’s Spotify playlists on our Spotify page.

1. Summer Camp – ‘Christmas Wrapping’

2. Julian Casablancas – ‘I Wish It Was Christmas Today’

3. Laura Marling – ‘Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)’

4. Sufjan Stevens – ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’

5. Low – ‘Just Like Christmas’


6. Poly Styrene – ‘Black Christmas’

7. Lucky Soul – ‘Lonely This Christmas’

8. The Futureheads – ‘Christmas Was Better In The 80’s’

9. Los Campesinos! – ‘Kindle A Flame In Her Heart’

10. The Fall – ‘Hark The Herald Angels Sing’

11. Marika Hackman – ‘Driving Under Stars’

12. The Killers – ‘Boots’

13. Glasvegas – ‘A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)’

14. Pearl Jam – ‘Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time)’

15. Blink-182 – ‘I Won’t Be Home For Christmas’

16. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – ‘In This Home On Ice’

17. Paul McCartney – ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)’

18. Hurts – ‘All I Want For Christmas is New Year’s Day’

19. The Smashing Pumpkins – ‘Christmastime’

20. Sufjan Stevens – ‘That Was The Worst Christmas Ever!’

21. Ramones – ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)’

22. Courtney Barnett – ‘Boxing Day Blues (Revisited)’

23. Eels – ‘Christmas Is Going To The Dogs’

24. LCD Soundsystem – ‘Christmas Will Break Your Heart’

25. The Magnetic Fields – ‘Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree’

26. The Barr Brothers – ‘Dear Mrs Claus’

27. Rufus Wainwright & Sharon Van Etten – ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

28. Kishi Bashi – ‘It’s Christmas, But It’s Not White Here In Our Town’

29. Bright Eyes – ‘Blue Christmas’

30. of Montreal – ‘Christmas Isn’t Safe For Animals’

You May Like