5 songs not from Mariah Carey to add to your Christmas Spotify playlist
Expand your Christmas playlist with Broadway musical covers and iconic movie mashups.
As the festive season rolls around and Mariah Carey comes out of yet another year of defrosting, you may already be hearing too much of classics like All I Want for Christmas Is You.
But if you’re looking for some underrated Christmas jams out there, you’ve come to the right place.
From local band originals to iconic mashups in movies, here are five songs you can consider adding to your Christmas playlist.
1. I’m Gonna Be Loved (This Christmas) by The Sam Willows
One of the biggest bands in the local music scene, The Sam Willows released its Christmas extended playlist (EP) on Nov 30, 2018.
It includes their original pop song I’m Gonna Be Loved (This Christmas) and three other covers of Christmas classics like Little Drummer Boy, Let it Snow and Silent Night.
The Sam Willows consists of founding members Sandra Riley Tang, Jonathan Chua and siblings Benjamin and Narelle Kheng. Since their debut in 2012, they have produced two albums, two EPs and 11 singles.
2. Sleigh Ride by Hadestown
If you prefer musicals to pop songs, there’s the Sleigh Ride cover from If the Fates Allow: A Hadestown Holiday album.
The Hadestown musical was created by songwriter Anaïs Mitchell in 2006, and was turned into a concept album of the same name four years later in 2010.
Hadestown tells an alternate version of the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and aired on Broadway in 2019.
The Broadway version stars Jewelle Blackman, Kay Trinidad and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer as the Fates, who performed 14 songs including Sleigh Ride in the Christmas album.
3. Winter Wonderland / Here Comes Santa Claus by Anna Kendrick and Snoop Dogg
While mashups of Christmas songs aren’t commonly heard, they sound pretty good when done right.
In one of the most iconic scenes in American comedy movie Pitch Perfect 2, Anna Kendrick and Snoop Dogg performed in a mashup of traditional Christmas songs Winter Wonderland and Here Comes Santa Claus.
Written in 1934 by composer Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard Bernhard Smith, Winter Wonderland has been covered by over 200 artists such as Selena Gomez, Tony Bennett and Michael Bublé.
The mashup is included in the official Pitch Perfect 2 album released on May 12, 2015, which debuted at number one of the Billboard 200 in that same week.
While it is the only Christmas song performed in Pitch Perfect 2, the third movie of the Pitch Perfect franchise has other covers of Christmas songs recorded by the cast including Silent Night, Feliz Navidad and Baby It’s Cold Outside.
4. It’s Not Christmas Without You by the Victorious cast
Youths into Christmas pop may be familiar with Ariana Grande’s Santa Tell Me, which earned her the title “Princess of Christmas”.
But few know that back in her Nickelodeon days, she performed in a Christmas track named It’s Not Christmas Without You.
Released as a single on Dec 3 back in 2011, It’s Not Christmas Without You is an original song created and performed on Victorious, an American sitcom that aired on television.
The song was then added to the Merry Nickmas soundtrack in 2012, which also included covers of other Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells and Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.
5. Peace, Love & Mistletoe by Inch Chua
Another talent in the local music scene, iNCH released her Peace, Love & Mistletoe EP in 2009.
The soundtrack contains four songs in total, including her original Peace, Love & Mistletoe single alongside two covers of classic Christmas songs such as I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and a track named Home Alone with John Williams.
Before releasing her EP, iNCH was the lead singer of rock band Allura, which saw the release of their debut album Wake Up and Smell the Seaweed in 2008.
After Allura disbanded, the Singaporean songwriter began to record songs on her own and gained wider recognition, leading to collaborations with other local pop and hip hop artists like Nathan Hartono and Shigga Shay.