“There’s no place like home for the Holidays,” takes on a whole new meaning in 2020. Luckily this time of year is often already spent indoors with a nice cup of cocoa, loved ones (if they live with you) and of course, music. So snuggle up by the fireplace or turn on the Yule Log and give these next few songs a listen to set the scene for a festive celebration at home.
Ulrikke – “Nyttårsnatt feat. Trygve Skaug” (Ulrikke Records)
At the top of the year, the incredible vocalist Ulrikke won Norway’s 60th annual Melodi Grand Prix, a competition which determines the country’s Eurovision representative. The talented and magnetic singer also released a holiday album this year titled Spend Christmas with Me. The album features classics in both English and Norwegian with “The Christmas Song,” “This Christmas,” and “Det Lyser i Stille Grender.” Nearly half the album is completely original as well. Listen to the beautiful “Nyttårsnatt” featuring Trygve Skaug and watch a compilation of some of those featured on the album below:
Elizabeth Chan – “Celebrate Me Home” (Merry Bright Music/MRI)
Deemed the “Queen of Christmas,” Elizabeth Chan has made her career primarily around the writing and performing of holiday songs. Most recently, with a theme to match that of 2020, Elizabeth released her ninth Christmas album titled Celebrate Me Home. Originally released by Kenny Loggins, Elizabeth’s version related to the current state of celebrating the holidays at home. Watch below for a behind the scenes look at her journey through pregnancy and welcoming her new baby to the world amidst the pandemic.
Black Violin – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (Di Versatile Music Group)
The Grammy-nominated violinist and violist duo, Black Violin gifted us a seasonal album titled Give Thanks. Blending classical with jazz, hip-hop, and funk, the album contains six holiday favorites including “Joy to the World” and “Carol of the Bells” as well as five holiday-inspired originals. Listen to the the classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” below:
Isak Danielson – “When You Believe” (IOD Entertainment)
Swedish singer songwriter Isak Danielson shares his take on the holiday classic “When You Believe.” Danielson’s voice is flawless and brings a completely new perspective to the iconic track made famous by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Listen below as Isak holds his own and then some as he belts the elegant and powerful ballad:
Alanis Morissette – “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (Epiphany Music/Thirty Tigers)
The Jagged Little Pill artist Alanis Morissette presents her cover of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono track “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” Watch below to get a glimpse into Alanis’s adorable family and friends.
Office Romance – “Hanukkah Lights” (Frenchkiss Records)
Made up of Blue Bloods actor Amy Carlson, as well as Lez Savy Fav’s Seth Jabour and Syd Butler, the trio known as Office Romance recently released their debut album Holidays of Love. One track that stands out on the album is “Hanukkah Lights” featuring co-writers Caroline Laskow and vocalist Rae Mizrachi. The track shares the story of Hanukkah as well as the holiday’s traditions that are celebrated each year. From dreidel spinning to latke tasting, dance along to the video directed by Callum Scott-Dyson below:
La Reunion Nortena – “Ya Viene Nochebuena” (Azteca Records)
Another fun and upbeat new release is that of Regional Mexican group La Reunion Nortena. The holiday came early this year for La Reunion fans who received both a joyful classic holiday track “Ya Viene Nochebuena” as well a new full length album, Reunionazos Norteños. Listen along to the holiday song below and their newest album here.
Dream Resort – “Say It Out Loud (‘Cause It’s Christmas)” (Bolero Recordings)
With band members from Bluephox, Mando Diao and The North, Stockholm-based Dream Resort launches its debut single just in time for the holidays. “Say it Loud (‘Cause It’s Christmas)” is an uplifting, modern pop track with a Motown feel. The song presents a message of positivity saying “tell the ones you love they’re in your heart” and “Sing it out loud and love is what you get back.” Spread the holiday cheer with Dream Resort and get what you give:
Stacey Kent – “Christmas Time Is Here” (Candid)
Stacey Kent unveils an EP this season titled Christmas In The Rockies with four holiday favorites, “Sleigh Ride,” “Christmas Time is Here,” Winter Wonderland”,” and “The Christmas Song.” The Grammy-nominated US-born UK-based singer has issued 15 albums since 1997, won the British Jazz Award in 2001 and BBC Jazz Awards in 2002 for Best Vocalist and in 2006 for Album of the Year for The Lyric. Listen to the soothing jazz renditions of these classics here and watch Stacey’s talented performance of “Christmas Time Is Here” below:
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike & Armin van Buuren & Brennan Heart – “Christmas Time” (Smash the House)
A masterful collaboration between top DJs/producers Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, Armin van Buuren and Brennan Heart with vocals by Jeremy Oceans, the track “Christmas Time” is unlike many holiday songs you’ve heard before. Brought to you by Smash The House, the song blends the sounds of sleigh bells with the soulful voice of Oceans for a mixture of elegant singer-songwriter and electronic. Starting off slow and steady, stick around for the beat (or should we say bell?) drop when listening along below:
Senses Fail – “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” (Pure Noise Records)
Pop punkers Senses Fail released their holiday album with a humorous twist titled Christmas Has Been Canceled Due to Lack of Hustle, no doubt playing homage to a quote from the 1990’s Ben Stiller film, Heavy Weights. The focus track of the release is titled “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” which demands that the holiday come early with an enthusiastic anticipation and viver. Check it out below and get hyped for the holidays:
To all our partners, colleagues and friends, we wish you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!