V’s New Music Round-Up: Holiday Edition

Here are some of the best music releases to spread the holiday cheer

Ho Ho Howdy! Are you tired of feeling lonely this Thanksgiving? Can’t wait for it to be Christmas so you can get all those gifts in the mail? Then welcome to V’s new music round-up, the holiday edition! We’re here to celebrate with some of music’s biggest and best cheer-dispersing releases, whether they be albums or singles.

We should note, some of these were released a little earlier in the year, but they all deserve to be added to your playlist. And they’re just as great to listen to out of the holiday season.

Here’s our top picks:

December Baby by JoJo

JoJo’s been having a great year, and this album is the cherry on top. Packed with the R&B’s singers powerful vocals on several holiday staples and a few original tracks thrown in, this album is a championing work for the singer’s more mature voice. The 35-second opening interlude, “Noelle,” with Jacob Collier (who just picked up three new Grammy noms) is a brief but memorable highlight.

The Best Time of Year by Keedron Bryant

The 13-year-old singer, who went viral this summer for his acapella rendition of “I Just Wanna Live,” now has holiday music to his name. The four-track EP features covers of three holiday staples, plus an original track called “This Year,” a more optimistic track to herald in the coming year. Here’s hoping for 2021!

HARK! by Andrew Bird

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, very talented Adam Bird’s new album doesn’t want you to forget that Christmas isn’t happening as usual this year. There are the usual holiday classic covers, but on some of the original tracks, including “Christmas in April,” Bird taps into the melancholy of this year’s festive season. But that’s what makes it the perfect way to soundtrack our current feeling.

Home For The Holidays by LVRN

Love Renaissance, also known as LVRN, brought together their impressive artist line-up for this jam-packed holiday record. Including 6lack, Summer Walker, and Westside Boogie, among others, the record label/artist group plays around with traditional classics while keeping things fresh by including three skits by producer Kitty Ca$h.

Put up the Lights by the bird and the bee

LA indie pop duo the bird and the bee’s holiday record is just as idiosyncratically calming as you’d expect it to be. The original tracks on the album, particularly “You and I at Christmas Time,” are soothing and effervescent in their production and vocals, reclaiming some of that fuzzy feeling you might’ve lost over the past few months.

“Warm December” by Sabrina Claudio

Sabrina Claudio takes a slightly more left-leaning turn on her newest holiday track, “Warm December,” off her upcoming Christmas album. She decides to go for a sultry approach, maintaining the same vocal cadence throughout, resulting in a song that’s quite disarming. The R&B-inflected track is not your usual Christmas song, that’s for sure.

“Wishlist” by Alaina Castillo

Alaina Castillo does the job of taking a very sexy pop-R&B track and adding sleigh bells to it to make it a holiday song. And somehow, it works. She’s unabashedly tongue-in-cheek and in on the joke of trying to sell a noticeably cozier Christmas.

“Make You Mine This Season” by Tegan and Sara

Coming off the soundtrack of the already critically praised “Happiest Season,” indie pop darling Tegan and Sara add their flair for ridiculously catchy percussive beats and deeper synth and piano heavy sounds to sleigh bells and yuletide rhythms. It’s a song that could blow up the charts regardless of the season.

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