Photo Credit: Steve Halama on Unsplash
An alternative Christmas playlist
Isabela Villanoy, Associate Arts Editor
It’s that time of the school year where everybody is gearing up for the holiday season by either booking tickets to a warmer place or preparing a bucket list of films and TV shows to watch during the winter break. Whether you’re spending the break somewhere tropical or keeping yourself cozy at home in your thickest, ugliest Christmas sweater, there’s no better way to celebrate the holiday spirit than with great Christmas music. But, let’s face it: Christmas songs may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially since most public spaces love blasting music from the same Christmas playlist (coincidence? I think not). As a lover of all things music, cozy vibes, and Christmas, I give you this alternative Christmas playlist that will surely keep you exhilarated, cozy, and warm during the holiday season:
For some of my Broadway fanatics, the Anastasia Original Broadway Cast soundtrack is the perfect way to welcome the first few weeks of your December. The soundtrack has a wide array of songs for every emotion that you could possibly think of. For me, listening to “Once Upon a December” sung by the beautiful Christy Altomare is like standing on a balcony and viewing a picturesque forest covered in a blanket of white snow. “In a Crowd of a Thousands,” a duet sung by Christy Altomare and Derek Klena, is another song that I have been listening to on repeat. The playful and effortless melody of the piano and violin juxtaposed with their powerful voices can lull you into a relaxing nap. This Broadway playlist would not be complete without Altomare’s version of “Journey to the Past” — a song that will never disappoint during Christmas karaoke parties with friends.
The 80s was not only a fashionable era of bold colours and dramatic shoulder pads, but also an era of smash hits. You can never go wrong with classics like “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by the legendary Whitney Houston or “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper during big holiday gatherings, and family and friends will most likely sing and dance the night away to these songs. Daryl Hall and John Oates’ “Jingle Bell Rock” or Queen’s “Thank God It’s Christmas” are the kind of songs you’d want to play to keep you energized while wrapping those weirdly shaped Christmas presents, or for those gym workouts you’re planning to do to burn all the extra holiday calories!
For those who want to experiment on new sounds during the holidays, give Ben & Ben’s “Maybe the Night” or IV OF SPADES’ “Where Have You Been, My Disco?” a listen. Written and composed by Filipino musicians, these songs will definitely keep your homebound flights or holiday road trips festive and relaxing. Valley’s “Sports Car” and “Nowhere Fast” are such playful sounds that I would listen to keep the winter blues away. Daniela Andrade’s laidback version of “Christmas Time Is Here” is for those who prefer instrumental songs during those cold winter nights. I highly recommend playing this with a face mask on and your scented candles lit up — you’ll thank me later.
For those of us looking forward to the new year, the soundtrack from the film Begin Again is probably the one for you. Not only do I recommend watching the film, but I also suggest this playlist for my fellow commuters who have long train rides home. Songs like “Lost Stars,” “A Step You Can’t Take Back,” and “Coming Up Roses” are so beautifully written and calming — they’re the perfect songs to listen to as you end the year and welcome 2020.