10 Best Indie Christmas Songs

The 10 best indie Christmas songs give a unique take on some Christmas favorites, and also introduce us to some Christmas music we may have never heard before. The artist names on the list may be familiar, but some of the songs may not be as well-known. Grab some egg nog and give a listen to the 10 best indie Christmas songs of all time.

  1. Mogwai "Christmas Song" (1999). The EP titled "EP" (1999) released by the rock band Mogwai almost went unnoticed until radio stations started playing "Christmas Song". This beautiful song is carried by a piano melody mixed with a string ensemble. It is one of the 10 best indie Christmas songs with character and beauty.
  2. Polyphonic Spree "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" (2007). The eclectic indie group Polyphonic Spree released a cover of the John Lennon Christmas song "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" (1971) with some subtle differences. Polyphonic Spree employed a full orchestra and the backing vocals were a choir of women as opposed to the children's voices heard on Lennon's version.
  3. Jimmy Eat World "Last Christmas" (2001). Cover songs are bound to be part of the list of the 10 best indie Christmas songs of all time, but on this list the indie artists need to give their own spin to make the Christmas song memorable. This is a cover of the hit song "Last Christmas" (1984) by Wham!. This is a much more instrumental and upbeat version of the song that makes it an enjoyable Christmas tune.
  4. The Flaming Lips "Christmas at the Zoo" (1995). Weird, quirky, off-key and wonderful are the words that can be used to decribe this entry into the list of the 10 best indie Christmas songs ever. The Flaming Lips are the ultimate indie band, and this single from the album "Clouds Taste Metallic" (1995) shows why.
  5. Coldplay "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (2001). The song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (1944) has been covered by many artists, but the indie band Coldplay delivers a beautiful version of this Christmas classic in 2001.
  6. Low "Just Like Christmas" (1999). Some of the songs on the list of the 10 best indie Christmas songs are part of special Christmas gifts the bands give to their fans. In 1999, the Minnesota indie band Low sent a special Christmas album called "Christmas" (1999) to their fans and "Just Like Christmas" (1999) wound up being a very popular track from the album.
  7. Low "Taking Down the Tree" (1999). The Low album "Christmas" (1999), a gift to their fans, spawned two songs that became minor holiday hits in the indie music circle. "Just Like Christmas" (1999) was the first, and "Taking Down the Tree" (1999) was a lament about taking down the Christmas decorations and signaling the end of the Christmas season that also got radio airplay.
  8. Ron Sexsmith "Maybe This Christmas" (2002). As one of the 10 best indie Christmas songs ever, Ron Sexsmith's "Maybe This Christmas" (2002) did not get a lot of airplay on its own. When it started to get covered by other artists, it became a Christmas favorite among indie music fans all over the world.
  9. The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping" (1981). "Christmas Wrapping" (1981) was helped out by the fact that The Waitresses had just released their only hit "I Know What Boys Like" (1981) earlier in the same year. This catchy little Christmas song has endured for many years and has a hook to that makes it one of the 10 best indie Christmas songs ever.
  10. The Watchmen "No Christmas While I'm Talking" (2004). The Christmas single off The Watchmen album "Bows+ Arrows" (2004) is a guitar-driven song about holiday memories. It is thick with indie-style guitar and skyrocketing vocals.
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