Picks the 10 Best Holiday Songs to Download Right Now
NOVEMBER 24 6:30 PM by DAN HYMAN | CULTURE NEWS
"I don't know, there's
something about the combination of Christmas music and a capella that
just works so well," says Mitch Grassi. "I think it's because
it's so organic and it's very real and not processed," adds the
Pentatonix group member. It was a natural fit, then, for the wildly
successful a cappella crew to release a new holiday album, That's Christmas
to Me, their first full-length holiday album following last year’s
charting PTXmas EP.
"The first one garnered
so much success that we were like 'Let’s do a full-length album
because people really seem to enjoy it,'" Grassi explains. And
while sure, getting in the holiday spirit wasn't necessarily the easiest
task when recording the album in summertime Los Angeles, as Grassi explains,
the Texas-bred singing outfit is accustomed to challenges. "We’re
so used to working under pressure and moving on to the next thing so
quickly that we were like 'Well, alright, I guess we have to do Christmas
music now.' But we enjoy it so much so it wasn’t like, 'Oh, this
Related: Pentatonix Is Making
A Cappella Cooler Than Ever
With the holidays fast approaching,
Pentatonix—which in addition to Grassi includes Kirstie Maldonado,
Avi Kaplan, Kevin Olusola, and Scott Hoying—gave ELLE.com each
of their respective favorite holiday music selections. Check out their
picks below, and then be sure and cue up the Pentatonix holiday playlist
David Phelps - "O Holy
Night": "The first time I heard this song I remember crying
because it was so moving and powerful to me and I couldn't help but
feel so incredibly happy and uplifted. David Phelps has an uncanny ability
to sound full and powerful on every part of his range and sing with
so much emotion. It really helps drive this already beautiful song."
Sara Bareilles & Ingrid
Michaelson - "Winter Song": "Sara Bareilles is one of
my favorite singer-songwriters of all time. Her voice paired with Ingrid's
is beautiful and this song is so calming and sweet. It's a perfect addition
to any Christmas or holiday playlist."
Sonos - "Come December":
"This is an original song written by one of my great friends, Jessica
Freedman. This was the song that made me fall in love with her a cappella
group Arora, formerly known as Sonos. This song is so gorgeous and her
lead on it truly brings me to an elated place. I love listening to this
on a beautiful drive to the mountains where my family spends Christmas
The Bird and the Bee - "Carol
of the Bells": "I've always loved 'Carol of the Bells,' but
this one really is for the music nerd in me. It’s so different
and creepy and cool. If you are looking for a version of this song that
is VERY different and EXTREMELY pleasing to your music nerd side, this
Christina Aguilera - "This
Christmas": "I've always loved this song. Such a fun song
that she sounds fantastic on. Definitely a classic for me."
Destiny's Child - "8
Days of Christmas": "THIS is a classic R&B throwback tune.
I love how they take the melody of '12 Days of Christmas' and change
up the lyrics. Such a vibey holiday song."
'NSYNC - "O Holy Night":
"This one I used to listen to all the time!! It was the first time
I heard an a cappella version of a Christmas song sound like pop music.
It was their version that helped inspire the writing for our original
Xmas song 'That’s Christmas To Me'!"
Justin Bieber feat Boyz II
Men - "Fa La La": "Their a cappella version of this song
is just ridiculous. Boyz II Men can riff like no other and Justin Bieber’s
lead is just as wonderful. There’s so much musical ear candy in
Justin Bieber - "Santa
Claus Is Coming to Town": "He sounds great on it, and the
Jackson 5-inspired production is so fun!"
Billy Gilman - "Warm
& Fuzzy": "'Warm & Fuzzy' was my favorite Christmas
song growing up and I always used to perform it every chance I got!
I still listen to it every year because it makes me feel so nostalgic
and, well, warm & fuzzy!"