As soon as the sun sets on Halloween it seems that the tide of Christmas songs is impossible to hold back. Rather than burying your head in the sand to dampen the sound of Wizzard and Paul McCartney, we’ve come up with a list of alternatives to keep you sane this season. For your listening pleasure, here’s the playlist in both YouTube and Spotify formats.

Future of Forestry · O Come Emmanuel

Having released three volumes of EPs for Advent, here’s our favourite from Eric Owyoung.

Sufjan Stevens · Silent Night

It would be sacrilegious to not include at least one song from a man who has released 100 songs spread over 10 discs. Go have a listen to all of them.

She & Him · Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

So Zooey Deschanel might not be everyone’s cup of mulled wine, but you couldn’t beat her Christmas album with M. Ward with a big tinselly stick.

Smith & Burrows · In The Bleak Mid-Winter

Tom Smith (Editors) and Andy Burrows (Razorlight, We Are Scientists) might not be known outside their work with their respective bands, but in writing their album Angels With Dirty Faces they pulled out a cracker of a cover.

Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten · Baby, It’s Cold Outside

A slow rework of a classic. Also on the list because of the crackling fire. Lovely.

The Shins · Wonderful Christmastime

Okay, maybe we’re cheating by having two songs from the same compilation, but seriously, check out that fire. And it’s nice to hear The Shins again; Garden State feels like a long time ago now, huh?

Carly Rae-Jepsen · Last Christmas

At the serious risk of losing all of our credibility, we felt it important to include an important contribution to the festive tunes. CRJ brought out one of the catchiest hits of the year in I Really Like You, with her album E·MO·TION being described by Pitchfork as “solid and spotless a pop album as you’re likely to hear this year.” (Read: digging a hole and throwing credible music review sites as a way to maintain face). Her cover of one the season’s most over-played songs is 80s pop gold; just listen to that sax. You’re welcome. (If you really can’t handle all of the cheese, try Jimmy Eat World’s version instead.)

Coldplay · Christmas Lights

Recently returning with a new single and the promise of a new album, it’s probably time to add Coldplay’s Yuletide effort to the list of ‘bearable Christmas pop songs’.

Slow Club · Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Alright, our boots are full of pop, back to some of the actual alternative stuff. A brilliant Christmas party song from the Sheffield duo. U2 are worth a mention too with their version of this song before Bono went all Bono™.

Bob Dylan · The Christmas Blues

In our effort to cover all genres, here’s the ever-gruffly Bob Dylan sounding like he’s about to start coughing at any moment. If you caught A Very Murray Christmas on Netflix this week, you’ll have spotted this number.

Beta Radio · Angels We Have Heard On High

A folksy carol. What’s not to like?

Vince Guaraldi Trio · O Tannenbaum

The first song off one of the most celebrated Christmas albums of all time – Charlie Brown Christmas – was added to the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry list of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” American sound recordings in 2012. It’s a beautifully-arranged jazz version of O Christmas Tree and it concludes our 2015 Christmas playlist. Merry Christmas!

Written by Thomas McConaghie // Follow Thomas on  Twitter // Thomas'  Website

Thomas is a coordinator for threads. He's an elder in his local church (Village Church Belfast), working on a Masters in urban planning and geeks out on football. He's married to Laura and the father of two-year-old Ezra.

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