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A Very Indie Christmas Playlist

Lizzy Schroff | Tuesday, December 4, 2012

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” – She & Him

She & Him is the pairing of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel. They put a delightful twist on this Christmas classic, made famous by jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, by reversing the male and female singing roles.

“Coventry Carol” – Sufjan Stevens

This is a wonderfully folky rendition of the traditional English Christmas carol. It features banjo, strings, classical guitar and beautiful harmonies that will be sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.

“Hang a String of Lights” – Great Lake Swimmers

Great Lake Swimmers brings a steady-rocking, indie-folk vibe to the Christmas decorating ritual. So if you haven’t started hanging those lights and putting up the tree yet, get on it – and put this song on while you’re at it.

“Christmas is Going to the Dogs” – Eels

Those of you who love Jim Carrey’s version of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” may recognize this song. With a crackly, vinyl-sounding effect, plenty of rock organ and an upbeat tempo, you’ll soon be singing along. And perhaps your furry friend will be howling along too.

“The Christmas Song” – The Raveonettes

This track has a great old-school ’50s rock ‘n roll vibe. You can almost picture the awkward teenagers in Christmas outfits and saddle shoes slow dancing at the annual Christmas dance in the high school gym….

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – Belle & Sebastian

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is one of my favorite traditional Christmas hymns. This version is pure and simple. It begins with Stuart Murdoch backed solely by acoustic guitar before switching to Sarah Martin’s breathy vocals, and finally a duet between the two – a characteristic of many Belle & Sebastian tracks.

“Santa Stole My Lady” – Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums are known for their old-school, soulful style and they certainly don’t disappoint with this track. With ooh and ah-ing background vocalists, saxophone and lyrics pining for lost love (thanks to that conniving Santa Claus), you’ll be grooving along in no time.

“Oh You (Christmas Blues)” – LCD Soundsystem

What would Christmas be without a little bluesy guitar and Robert Plant-style wailing?

“Christmas Isn’t Safe for Animals” – Of Montreal

Come on. I know you’ve been asking yourself whether or not Christmas is safe for animals too.

“No Christmas for Me” – Zee Avi

Although this is yet another lonely Christmas song, Zee Avi’s incredibly charming voice, the light-hearted melody and the acoustic guitar make it a little more upbeat.

“Christmas” – Rogue Wave

This song is layered with sound. From Zach Rogue’s unique, whining vocals, a mandolin solo, well-placed effects and folky acoustic guitar line, I know that I’ll be playing this track plenty throughout the Christmas season.

“A Change at Christmas [Say It Isn’t So]” – The Flaming Lips

This song is chock-full of looping, experimental effects that give the track a slightly bizarre sound and add some uniqueness to your otherwise rather ordinary Christmas.

“Just Like Christmas” – Low

This track features a gently-rocking beat, muffled electric guitar and the always appropriate sleigh bells for a simple, enchantingly wintry arrangement.

“The Christmas Song [Don’t Be Late]” – Tegan and Sara

I have always loved Alvin and the Chipmunks, even though their voices can get a little annoying after a while. Tegan and Sara does a remake of this classic Chipmunk Christmas tune (complete with high-pitched squeaky voices for the intro and ending), infused with their own unique harmonies.