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You are the voice. We are the echo.
The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Thursday, May 30, 2024
The Echo
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Your Spotify Cue

Top Picks for the 2021 holiday season

Holiday music is most certainly the highlight of my winter season. 

While many debate that pre-Thanksgiving is too early to be rocking out to upbeat holiday tunes, I count down the days until the Halloween season ends. The minute November first hits, my background music almost always shifts to the classic holiday tunes such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” or “Last Christmas.” Between the peppermint mochas and the freezing cold winds blowing through campus, how could I not? 

In the midst of listening to my long-time classic songs, I have been on the search for some new hits. Through my searching process of less popular songs from the past few years, I have acquired some new winter wonderland songs that I am head-over-heels in love with and some covers of songs that are soon to find their way onto your Spotify queue. 

Covers

Jamie Cullum: “Frosty The Snowman”

I love this song traditionally, but this rendition offers such a diverse feeling. The jazzy tone of this piece is just awesome. I truly believe that it is impossible for someone to listen to this cover without getting up and dancing. Jamie Cullum’s vocals pair excellently with the jazz instruments, and it offers a swing feel for the song as Frosty comes to life. 

It mirrors the dancing and active nature that parallels Frosty's life. With that, Cullum also leans out of the jazz vibe as the song concludes, returning to the more natural feeling as Frosty goes away once more.

I envisioned this song being paired with the dancing snowman that most grandparents pull out during the holiday gatherings, and I love that. 

Darren Criss (featuring Adam Lambert): “(Everybody’s Waiting For) The Man With The Bag”

“Glee” star Darren Criss collaborated with Adam Lambert to provide an upbeat rendition of this song. Prior to hearing this cover, I had never heard the original version of this song by Kay Starr, but hearing it made me decide this cover by Criss and Lambert was much more lively. With that in mind, I believe this song could stand alone as an original song. 

Criss and Lambert create a playful tone in this piece with their vocal commentary through the song. Moments before singing, they set out the notion of this piece through their interactions — showing how excited they are for Santa to arrive. The quicker tempo parallels well with the emotion of this piece as it mimics the excitement a child feels as they wait for Santa to show up on Christmas Eve. 

Criss and Lambert create an atmosphere that comes alive within the constraints of this song, and I appreciate that energy in a classic like this one.

New Songs

Dan & Shay’s “Officially Christmas”

Dan and Shay perform a new song that announces the Christmas season. This song was released Nov. 9, and it has caught a great deal of attention due to its popularity among country fans. In this song, they mix Christmas with love, creating a cute Christmas love song for country lovers. This song’s overall atmosphere is definitely on brand for the duo’s other music. It offers a slower tempo with a beautiful blend of instruments to accompany the artists’ vocals.  

This song feels like the perfect song to play in the background as I cruise through town. 

Carrie Underwood: “Stretchy Pants”

This song is absolutely hilarious. Carrie Underwood puts to music the feeling of being stuffed from a good meal. The overall tone of the song is unique from Underwood’s traditional style, offering a more contemporary, pop feel. The tone of this song, mixed with several references to holiday foods, sure gets me in the holiday mood. 

“So bring on the turkey, potatoes, casserole dishes, 'Cause I ain't messing around with them buttoned up britches,” she sings in the chorus. 

Underwood’s song emphasizes the need for comfortable stretch pants to be a part of each individual’s outfit for the holidays. This is a message that all would agree with after a good meal. 

As one who has felt the pain of tight jeans after a delicious Thanksgiving meal, I will definitely be cranking this song up during every holiday meal. I recommend you do the same. 

All of these songs are sure to put anyone in the holiday mood. So as you hunker down for the last bit of the semester, get into some comfy clothes, give yourself a nice warm drink, and put these songs on your queue. They are sure to get you into the festivities of the season and give you some motivation to finish up those last few assignments before the holidays. 

Let them carry you through the season. With that, it will be interesting to see what 2022 has in store for music.