Right now it seems like there’s at least one definite upshot to our collective upcoming socially distanced holidays: You won’t have to dread that inevitable moment during the family get-together when someone decides it’d just be an absolute hoot to put on “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” for the seven millionth time, and you’re forced to confront the real reason you don’t visit your relatives more often. But the fact is, something needs to fill that void, because the holidays without music is like the Fourth Of July without terrible decision-making on the part of people with fireworks.
Possibly for pandemic-related reasons, there is an absolute glut of new Christmas and other seasonally appropriate music being released this year—some of it fantastic, some not so much. (Watch this trailer for the Goo Goo Dolls’ upcoming “augmented reality movie musical” and tell us everyone involved doesn’t need to take a long, hard look in the mirror.) So The A.V. Club is here to help: We’ve compiled a list of some of the most promising new holiday music put out in 2020, from the sparsely beautiful ballads of Andrew Bird to the campy retro-pop of Meghan Trainor. The only rule: It can’t just a be a collection of old standards or yet another take on “Do They Know It’s Christmas”; there has to be new, original music as part of the release. So here are more than a dozen offerings to brighten your season’s greetings—or to help wallow in the misery of the yuletide. There’s something for everyone!
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