Its that time of the year. The stockings are all hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that sir St. Nick will soon be here. Time for Christmas parties and ugly sweaters. Well, not ugly sweaters here in famously hot Columbia, SC, but that shouldn’t get your spirits down. Egg nog and Christmas-scented candles abound.

While you are wrapping your presents and hanging your stockings, take a listen to some of the great festive music I’ve found. Some of it is even free!


10. Sufjan Stevens – Silver and Gold
Sufjan has done it again. The sequel to his “Songs for Christmas”, Silver and Gold features 58 songs, in which the genre’s range from acoustic to psychedelic rock. You can get a sampler of the album for FREE on the noisetrade link above, but I wouldn’t definitely recommend picking up the full album.

9. Sugar and the Hi-Lows – Snow Angel
Nashvillian’s Amy Stroup and Trent Dabbs have teamed up to release this wonderful Christmas EP this year. Featuring five original songs, the album blends blues guitars with jazzy vocals from both Stroup and Dabbs. I highly recommend “Shake that Gift”.

8. She and Him – A Very She & Him Christmas
Zoey Deschanel‘s voice defines christmas. She teamed up with M.Ward to release this instant classic in 2011. It makes my list this year, because like I said, it’s an instant classic.  Try listening to her voice while curled up by the fire and tell me you aren’t put in the Christmas spirit.

 7. Ten out of Tenn Christmas Compilation
I’m a huge fan of everything Ten out of Tenn does. If you aren’t familiar, Ten out of Tenn is a group of ten songwriter’s based out of Tennessee. (hence the name) Started by Kristen Dabbs, Ten out of Tenn puts out a new compilation every year and tours. This compilation features some great artists like Matthew Perryman Jones and Andy Davis.

6. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors – A Neighborly Christmas
Drew and Ellie Holcomb are just too perfect. Their rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” might be my favorite ever. It’s really hard to find this album anymore, but they just released “Another Neighborly Christmas”, which is definitely worth the listen.


5. Andrew Belle – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Single)
The only single that appears on my list is probably my favorite Christmas song ever. It’s so good, I listen to it even when it’s not Christmas. Seriously. You can catch me riding around in July listening to this.

4. Fireplace Songs // The Music Bed Holiday Sampler
This compilation comes from The Music Bed, a music publishing company. It’s an easy way for artists to get their songs published by photographers and videographers all over. The sampler features Green River Ordinance, Ben Rector, Matthew Mayfield, Trent Dabbs and many more. And its FREE on Noisetrade!

3. Sufjan Stevens – Songs for Christmas
This is CD 1-4 in Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas. Released in 2006, it on rotation all throughout Christmas for me. This album is a little more toned down than Sufjan’s newest release, which I think is more fitting for this time of the year. If you want to go crazy, go get all of his songs…you’ll end up with close t0 100.

2. Rosie Thomas – A Very Rosie Christmas
This came so, so close to getting first on my list this year. Rosie Thomas is currently on tour with Sufjan Stevens for his Christmas tour and released this beauty a couple weeks ago. The first song “Why Can’t It Be Christmas Time All Year” is perfection. It’s FREE right now on Noisetrade.

 1. Vince Guaraldi – A Charlie Brown Christmas
This. Every year. The best. I don’t know if it will ever be overthrown.

Christmas has become an awesome time for musicians to show out and get new fans through recognizable music. Always be on the lookout, because some of your favorite artists are bound to release a song or two related to Christmas. Some of the best are the covers you can find on YouTube. (see: SceneSC’s video of Austin Crane )


Happy Holidays!

P.S – I’d love to hear what you are listening to! Tweet at me @bdesseyn.

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