Christmas has officially come and past, and we here at Ones To Watch certainly hope that you received everything of your wildest dreams this holiday season. However, while we still recover from feasts of holiday ham and Chinese food, we present you with one final gift. The holiday season brought along with it some unexpected gifts from some of our favorite artists in the form of holiday-themed renditions of timeless classics and a newly invented holiday banger to play on repeat throughout the new year. So, without further ado, here are a few of our favorite unexpected holiday-themed songs that came about this holiday season.
Rag’N’Bone Man - “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”
The first unexpected gift of the season came courtesy of neo-blues and soul singer Rag’N’Bone Man who stopped by the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. With powerful minimalistic artistic delivery and his trademark baritone vocal styling, Rag’N’Bone Man delivered an exceptional version of the 1951 hit popularized by Perry Como and The Fontaine Sisters, as well as Bing Crosby, “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.” For an added bonus, enjoy the commitment paid to the Santa Claus aesthetic.
Mark Johns & BLAISE – “Joy”
Don’t be fooled by its name, this is not an interpretation of any Christmas carol or classic. “Joy” is a new holiday song perfectly designed for this season’s generation. With mentions of clout googles, Yeezys, Fendi, and Prada, is it possible that Mark Johns and BLAISE’s “Joy” is a thinly veiled commentary on music and its culture’s obsession with heightened forms of capitalistic, materialistic shows of wealth and status? To be honest, your guess on the matter is as good as mine, but the free-flowing nature of it all makes an undeniable holiday-themed banger.
Kristin Kontrol – “Last Xmas”
Arguably the best Christmas song ever is the often covered but rarely done justice – “Last Christmas.” Recorded by English pop duo Wham! in 1984, the band brought new life into the Christmas music tradition with the band’s liberal use of synthesizers and George Michael’s genius for writing genuine pop hits. Cut to the present day, where Kirstin Kontrol, an artist clearly fond of and influenced by the ‘80s hallmark synthesized style, authentically recreates that original ‘80s Christmas magic with her rendition – “Last Xmas.”
Jungook (JK) of BTS – “Oh Holy Night”
Korean boyband BTS has a devout and massive following overseas, which is nothing new for Korean boybands, but what is new is that this is one of the first and only Korean boybands to bridge the gap between k-pop and traditional top 40s. And in traditional top 40s fashion, the younger member of BTS, JK, released a stirring rendition of the well-known Christmas carol “O Holy Night” as a Christmas present of sorts for his adoring fans and many more soon to be.
James Blake – “Vincent”
Originally written and performed by Don McLean in 1971, “Vincent,” was originally intended as a tribute to the late artist Vincent Van Gogh and his painting “The Starry Night,” as opposed to a traditional holiday song. However, much in proper James Blake manner, Blake repurposed the classic, performing an innately intimate interpretation of the Don McLean classic and forever adorning “Vincent” in the storied history of holiday songs.
For more on James Blake, check out our 6 Ones To Know If You’re a Fan of James Blake. And from all of us here at Ones To Watch, wishing you an amazing time in the New Year!