Christmas music to scare your grandparents

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It’s hard to go anywhere in December without hearing Christmas music. On the radio, at your parent’s house, even walking through the grocery store- it’s inescapable.  

There’s a rich history of popular Christmas songs that persist even decades later. The great classics of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and Darlene Love harken back to Christmases during which most of us yet to be born.  

Modern classics from Mariah Carey (the Queen of Christmas), John Legend, and Michael Bublé remind us there’s still some gold to be mined from the Christmas music mountain. Now that we’ve got that sentimentality out of the way, listening to the same classics every year can be tiring. If you want to spice up your Christmas gatherings this year, spin these tracks and see how long it takes for someone to complain.  

Carol of the Bells by August Burns Red 

Everyone loves the classics. What everyone might not love is a metal-core cover of a traditional Ukrainian Christmas carol.  

In their cover, August Burns Red presents a familiar rendition of that classic tune, with significantly more electric guitar breakdowns and double kick pedal drum solos.  This track will be sure to have someone yelling “turn that noise off!”.

It’s Christmas and I F—ing Miss You by Charly Bliss & PUP

Christmas 2020 was not a great time for most of us. With lockdowns and travel restrictions, it was nearly impossible to spend time with family and loved ones.  

However, Christmas brings out those lonely and longing emotions without a global pandemic. There’s a whole genre of sad Christmas songs about the melancholy of the season. 

Luckily, Charly Bliss and PUP were there to bottle up those extra pandemic holiday emotions in a surprisingly not angry song about not being able to see your partner during the holidays. Unfortunately, they swear a whole bunch while doing it! So it might not be a crowd pleaser for the whole family.

7 O’Clock News/Silent Night by Phoebe Bridgers feat. Fiona Apple & Matt Berninger

Indie rock star Phoebe Bridgers has released a Christmas cover every year, finding more obscure songs each time. In 2019, she released a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s sound collage, combining a simulation 7 o’clock news program with a rendition of Silent Night.  

Bridgers’ cover features her and Fiona Apple singing the tune while Matt Berninger of The National presents a news bulletin covering topics such as the opioid crisis, restrictive abortion laws, and the [first] impeachment of Donald Trump. While heavy metal and swearing may scare your grandparents, nothing will really suck the mood out of the holidays like gearing up for some family political discourse.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by DMX

The story of the late DMX’s rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a long and celebrated one. Originally improvised at an interviewer’s request in 2012, it took until 2017 for an official version to be released through a Spotify Christmas music compilation. Even so, it wasn’t released elsewhere until after his death in 2021.  

DMX’s gruff voice and persona seem like the opposite of what you’d expect on the song, which is most notably sung by country star Gene Autry and Burl Ives for the Rankin-Bass animated film, But DMX’s infectious enthusiasm and exciting production twist on the tune make you want to get up and sing with him. Your family might disagree, though.

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