Monday Music: unconventional carols for the holidays

Out with the old, tired classics and in with these new, fresh holiday tunes

Monday Music: your weekly themed playlist. Image courtesy of The Peak.

By: Madeleine Chan, SFU Student

I don’t know about you but frankly, I’m sick of holiday music. If I hear one more note of Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” I will personally sue every radio station for emotional distress. It’s not that I’m a Grinch when it comes to the holidays — it’s just that the constant repetition of the same cheery melodies and lyrics make for a bland musical landscape. Because of this, I am always in search of alternatives that keep the holiday vibe, but don’t oversaturate it with the metronomic jingling of sleigh bells.

So, whether you’re a Christmas cynic or just tired of the holiday classics, this playlist should give you something new to hum over the blissful break. 

Yule Shoot Your Eye Out – Fall Out Boy:

One of the punk/rock/pop behemoth’s lesser known tracks, this has been one of my favourite holiday songs since I discovered it as a bonus track on their first greatest hits album. The lyrics detail a pessimistic outlook on the holiday season and its idealized cheer. It’s essentially the antithesis to the loving and upbeat “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey. The choral lyrics “Merry Christmas/I could care less” sum up the song’s rebellious spirit. While it still has the typical sleigh bells ringing in the background, they’re almost present out of spite, making this song a perfect punk twist on classic holiday cheer. 

New Year’s Eve – Pale Waves:

A non-Christmas holiday tune, this indie Brit-pop-rock song extends past Christmas to New Year’s. A hidden gem of a band, Pale Waves perfectly captures the melancholy of not having a partner on New Year’s Eve. The lovesick lyrics are dramatically contrasted against the dance-inducing rhythms while the melodic, atmospheric synth-y sounds give the feeling of a cold winter’s day. Overall, this song is a little bop that is ideal for winter wonder and woe. 

Spidey-Bells (A Hero’s Lament) – Chris Pine:

Ever wanted to hear Chris Pine as Spider-Man sing an aptly-themed parody of “Jingle Bells,” but also have an existential breakdown in the middle of it? First off, that is a very specific desire, but second, you’re in luck. This song comes from A Very Spidey Christmas, a parody EP spinning out of the masterpiece that is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Its main purpose is to be funny, but it’s also a great alternative to the classic tune. Put it on when you want to get into that holiday mood but also have a laugh.

come out and play – Billie Eilish:

Originally made for an Apple commercial, this song utilizes Eilish’s haunting vocals in a different way. The warm song is narrated by her chilly but comforting voice. It always makes me feel like I’m sitting by a fireplace and sipping on a hot beverage after just coming inside from the biting cold. Filled with genuine emotion and dynamic melodies, I could easily have this song on repeat until the break is over.