Five Christmas Albums to Check Out in 2013

I love listening to Christmas music throughout the year.  It’s joyful, hopeful, and comforting, and that sort of music deserves more than one month of listening!

Last year, I told you about my five favorite Christmas albums. Here are five more albums I recommend to you this year.

1. Sara Groves, “O Holy Night”
You can’t go wrong with Sara Groves’s music.  She writes so powerfully, so poignantly, and yet, so simply.  This album is no exception.  And for anyone who has almost gone crazy extracting a kid’s gift from the package, the new song “Toy Packaging” will make you laugh, and make you remember when you wanted to weep in defeat as you tried to open it.

2. Sufjan Stevens, “Silver and Gold”
No one mixes pure talent, fun, and quirkiness like Sufjan Stevens.  His “Songs for Christmas” collection is one of my absolute favorite Christmas albums.  He followed this up last year with this new collection.  Listen, laugh, and enjoy.  You can download a sample of the album for free here.

3. We Three Kings, “The 12 Songs of Christmas”

This album is a fresh mix of bluegrass, Southern, Appalachian, and Irish-dance, complete with  mandolins, fiddles, and mouth harps.  Yes, I said mouth harps.  When’s the last time you heard that in Christmas music?!  And an added bonus: all of the proceeds for this album go support some folks doing great charitable work in Honduras.

4. Folk Angel, “Christmas Songs” (5 volumes)
No surprise here.  Classic and new Christmas songs in a neo-classic folk style.  And it’s really great stuff.  They’ve released five EPs (which you can find at the link above).  You can also download a sampler EP here.

5. Paste Magazine, “Holiday Sampler 2013”
Paste Magazine is a great place to keep up with the latest in music, movies, books, and contemporary culture.  This year they have released this Holiday sampler album.  There are contributions from 14 artists, including some veterans like Nick Lowe and Sufjan Stevens, and some of my favorite new discoveries like The Last Bison and Micah Dalton.

 Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

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