Let's face it, Christmas music can be a real drag. It's not so much about the songs themselves, it's the fact that we've heard them all before, every year, for years and years on end. While there will always be a place for the nostalgia of those traditional Christmas songs, we thought it might be nice to add some original local tracks to your holiday playlist. Here are 10 original Christmas songs from North Texas artists and two covers that made the holiday classics their own:
Sean Russell – "Hallelujah I'm Giving In"
A song from Cut Throat Finches frontman Sean Russell's 2017 EP Brother Bill, "Hallelujah I'm Giving In" is a soft and sweet religious Christmas tune. The song celebrates the light brought on by the birth of Christ, set against the backdrop of an otherwise dark time. When Russell sings "Hallelujah," it is as much a song of worship as it is an act of resignation to a bleak year coming to a close — but, there is always hope for a better one.
J. Isaiah Evans & The Dime Store Hoods – "Dallas Bound (Date Under the Mistletoe)"
Another solo track from a prominent Dallas rock band, "Dallas Bound (Date Under the Mistletoe)" from The 40 Acre Mule's J. Isaiah Evans & The Dime Store Hoods follows in the spirit of so many songs promising to be home by Christmas. A true R&B offering, "Dallas Bound" is sure to put some swing into your holiday playlist and get you and your sweetheart dancing just a little bit closer.
Loyal Sally (feat. Ellen Once Again) – "The New Year"
In "The New Year," Loyal Sally mixes scenes of a snowy mid-December with references to holiday classics like "Silent Night" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." Though filled with specific Christmas references, the song does not reference Christmas Day specifically. With the melancholy spirit that moves through the song, this is another attempt to find joy in the holiday season that's more excited about what the new year has to offer.
Tropical Billy – "Communist Christmas"
Are you dreaming of a red Christmas? Well, this is a fun Christmas garage-punk song that is short and sweet. "Communist Christmas" by Waco transplants Tropical Billy pokes a lot of fun at the secular Christmas icons Santa and Rudolph. In the North Pole imagined by Tropical Billy, "Santa is a communist" and "elves won't get their benefits / working night and day / to keep the common machine rollin' gifts," and Rudolph's famously red nose turns brown "judging if you are naughty or nice."
Dead Flowers – "A Lot Like Xmas"
A song for the recently dumped, "A Lot Like Xmas" by Dead Flowers puts a bit of attitude into the ol' recurring trope of being all alone on Christmas. The singer has grown cold to the sights and sounds of Christmas as his lost love is off on a hot beach vacation. While he wishes to see or at least hear from her during this festive season, his tone and loping guitars suggest that he is finding the strength to move on.
Spartan Parks Dept. – "Keep it Cozy"
Ok, so maybe there are a few too many "alone on Christmas" songs. We get it, and so does Spartan Parks Dept. That's why "Keep it Cozy" found its way on this list. A cute little song with all the pop of "Santa Baby," "Keep it Cozy" celebrates the joy and togetherness of friends and family at Christmas time. Also, "We don't need 90 degrees / We want sweaters and Christmas trees" is a line everyone in Dallas can relate to with our frequent unseasonably warm Christmases.
Christine Hand – "Merry Christmas Again"
Now for something a little bit folksier. Christine Hand's "Merry Christmas Again" is all about well wishes, full dinner tables and warm fires with loved ones. Hand's vision of Christmas is one in which all of life's ills are replaced with peace on Earth and good will toward men. With soft guitars and gorgeous vocals, this is a song that the whole family will enjoy.
Pedigo's Magic Pilsner – "Counting Back Down"
One half of The O's, John Pedigo of Pedigo's Magic Pilsner has given us a cheery and waltzing Christmas song for a good slow dance with your holiday sweetheart. This is a song that celebrates the entire holiday season — from those first days off until we sing "Auld Lang Syne" on New Year's Eve and looks forward to every Christmas season to come. "Counting Back Down" is sure to warm your heart.
KCD – "Let's Turn On Christmas"
Starting with what seems like the story of a Norman Rockwell family, this song takes a turn in the last lines of the first verse, seeing the kids take out their phones and dad disappearing to play golf. "Let's Turn On Christmas" by KCD is ultimately a song about trying to get back to that Norman Rockwell Christmas ideal, where families enjoy being together and where we believe in the spirit of Christmas again.
Jon Danforth – "A Great Idea"
A song that celebrates the coziness that can come along in the dead of winter, Jon Danforth's "A Great Idea" revisits what "Baby It's Cold Outside" was going for — for without all the rape vibes. After all, what could be better than staying in a warm bed with the one you love this holiday season, rather than fighting the bitter cold. It really is a great idea.
Sur Duda – "Xmas (BB Plz Come Home)"
This lo-fi cover of Darlene Love's holiday classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" really brings out the sad quality in the song. Not only is the spelling changed, but gone are the horns, bells and wailing vocals. Instead, the soft voice of Cameron Smith haunts the space in between the sparse guitar and violin. If "it's not like Christmas at all," why should it even sound like a Christmas song, right?
Arkayist – "Let it Snow"
Turn the lights way down low. In this dramatic version of the holiday standard "Let it Snow," Rat Rios and Rob Martinez of Honor System pair up as Arkayist to ask if the "weather outside is frightful…and it show signs of stopping" then what is there to be so jolly about, Dean Martin? Slowly building like a fire that will never die, synthesizers lift the lyrics out of the dreary cold and into the warm crescendo of a pulsing drum and bass. Hold tight.