We’re well on the way to full Christmas music saturation. At my job, the Xmas soundtrack channel is de rigeur until the fateful day itself. That level of constant jingling all the way can be oppressive. But despite the hammering of tunes popular during Boomer childhoods, there is zero shortage of new to newish Holiday Season music to revel in. Some of my favorites are

  • Tracy Thorn – Tinsel & Lights
  • Said the Whale – West Coast Christmas EP Collection
  • The 8BitPeoples – The 8 Bits of Christmas
  • Low – Christmas

They’re weird, melancholy, and even at their oldest (1999,) refreshing. I tend toward humbugitude, but I can’t deny there’s a sizable part of me that indulges in this most sentimental of holidays. My mom was especially good at a gentle transition into Xmas madness, and I have a cadre of core albums from my childhood we used to listen to every year as we wrapped up dinner and my brother and I headed off to bed. We drifted to sleep to strains of Glen Campbell, Barbra Streisand, Andy Williams, The Carpenters, and Fred Waring’s Pennsylvania Singers. But those have a special time and place. We have lots more to saturate the season with, and it comes with some measure of surprise, of sparkle. Tradition is meant to be comfortable. But the new comes with promise and possibility, as well as the change that life offers with the renewal of the year.