Five contemporary holiday songs to listen to

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The countdown to Christmas has officially begun and with that comes the release of hundreds of classic Christmas songs covered by various artists. Here’s a list of newer singles worth your time, so you can spend the rest of your post-finals freedom celebrating the season instead of searching for the right Christmas tune.

Straight No Chaser feat. Kristen Bell: “Text Me Merry Christmas”

“Frozen” star Kristen Bell put her stamp on the Christmas season this year with her appearance on the original song “Text Me Merry Christmas” by Straight No Chaser. The song pokes fun at the technology era in a whimsical duet, which is bound to have every listener humming along. The song is the perfect guilty pleasure for the season and embarrassingly fun to sing along to.

Ariana Grande: “Last Christmas”

Although Grande released an original Christmas song, “Santa Tell Me,” this year, her 2013 cover of “Last Christmas” still reigns. Grande is one of the only artists daring enough to merely keep the bones of the song she chose to cover. Although risky, the classic-turned-pop song will have you belting out the new verses just as much as the original. If you are a large fan of Grande, “Santa Tell Me” may be another to add to your playlist this year.

Sam Smith: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Sam Smith has risen to the top of the music scene in the past year with his hit “Stay With Me.” Smith’s cover of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” may be one of the least jazzed up covers released this season. Smith changes nothing about the song and lets his smooth voice make an impression for him. The song sticks to the true sound of the season, rather than updating the classic song to be marketable to the pop genre.

The Killers: “Joel The Lump Of Coal”

The alternative rock band has given their own take on Christmas the past few years, and listeners have yet to be disappointed. “Joel The Lump Of Coal” may be the most original Christmas song you will hear this season. The song speaks of the adventure of a piece of coal on his way to a stocking, which is definitely a path less taken in Christmas music. Not only is the song different from anything else listeners will hear over the season, but the added bonus is that Jimmy Kimmel is featured as the voice of Santa Claus.

Mumford and Sons: “Winter Winds”

Not feeling like the Christmas spirit? Believe it or not, there are a handful of winter songs you can find which have nothing to do with Christmas at all. “Winter Winds” was the third track on Mumford and Sons’ 2009 release “Sigh No More.” The folky song proves to be a great alternative to your typical holiday jingle and will still put you in the mood to brave the cold days. If that song interests you, try “The First Song” by Band of Horses. Neither is a celebratory song about the holidays, but both still embody the feeling of the winter season.