Following our Best of 2018 Must-Hear Music podcast, we’re signing off for 2018 with a look at the best new Christmas songs of the year.
First up is John Legend’s A Legendary Christmas, a yuletide K.O. featuring lush originals such as “No Place Like Home” and gorgeous takes on classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Legend’s duet with Esperanza Spalding.
Another fresh holiday original comes to us via Tyler the Creator’s “Hot Chocolate” ft. Jerry Paper, a gently funky ode to one of the season’s finest treats. That track comes from Tyler’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas-inspired EP, which leads us to another Christmas movie-related song: “Making Christmas” from The Nightmare Before Christmas. This year, Christmas music juggernauts Pentatonix lend their golden pipes to the gruesome tale of rats turned into hats.
On an album inspired by the worst Christmas gift, Socks, JD McPherson offers up a rockabilly plea to Santa to gain some weight before holidays (echoing Ms. Claus in the iconic stop motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) with “Hey Skinny Santa.” Plus: David Archuleta delivers the adorable “Christmas Every Day,” indie Xmas GOAT Sufjan Stevens shares his achingly gorgeous “Lonely Man of Winter,” and Aloe Blacc offers up a “Funky Ass Christmas.”