The Best Indie Rock Christmas Music to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some great indie rock Christmas music to get you in the holiday spirit? Look no further! We’ve got a list of the best tunes to help get you feeling festive.


For anyone who loves alternative music, the holidays can be a tough time. Between all the sugary pop songs and schmaltzy holiday standards, it can be hard to find music that feels true to your style.

But never fear! We’ve put together a list of the best indie rock Christmas music to get you through the holiday season. From modern classics like Sufjan Stevens’ “Winter Wonderland” to lesser-known gems like The Raveonettes’ “The Christmas Song,” there’s something for everyone on this list.

So crank up the volume and get ready to rock around the Christmas tree!

The Shins – Wonderful Christmastime

The Shins – Wonderful Christmastime
The Shins came out with a holiday album in 2012, and it’s chock-full of holiday classics like “Silver Bells” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” But our favorite track is their version of “Wonderful Christmastime,” which strips down the original’s synthesizers in favor of a more folksy, organic sound.

Sufjan Stevens – Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming

This is a song from Stevens’ 2006 album Songs for Christmas, a five-EP collection of original holiday songs and sounds, traditional tunes, and covers. “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming” is based on a German carol of the same name and is one of the more upbeat tracks on the album.

The Raveonettes – The Christmas Song

This Danish rock band always brings the noise, but with their take on “The Christmas Song,” they show a more vulnerable side. The ringing guitars are matched by Sune Rose Wagner’s plaintive vocal, creating a track that’s as wistful as it is beautiful.

Band of Horses – Is There a Ghost

This song will definitely get you in the holiday spirit with its references to presents under the tree and riding around in a one horse open sleigh. Band of Horses is an indie rock band that was formed in 2004 in Seattle, Washington. The group consists of Ben Bridwell, Ryan Monroe, Tyler Ramsey, and Creighton Barrett. “Is There a Ghost” is the second single from their 2006 album Everything All the Time.

The Killers – Don’t Shoot Me Santa

The Killers have released a string of Christmas singles over the years, but “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” is by far their best. The song perfectly captures the tension and excitement of the holiday season, and it’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

Arcade Fire – Christmas Time Is Here

Arcade Fire is no stranger to creating beautiful holiday music. Their cover of “Christmas Time Is Here” is the perfect mix of nostalgic and modern. The original song is a classic from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Arcade Fire’s version captures the spirit of the holiday perfectly. If you’re looking for something to get you in the holiday spirit, this is it.

The Flaming Lips – White Christmas

The Flaming Lips are an American rock band formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1983. Music critics have praised the group for their poppy, psychedelic sound as well as their eccentric live shows. They are also known for their experimental recordings, which make use of innovative studio techniques and encompass a wide range of genres.

The Flaming Lips’ 13th studio album, “Oh My Gawd!!! The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwendz”, was released on April 1st, 2016. The album features collaborations with Miley Cyrus, Moby, Wayne Coyne’s wife Michie Moko, and New Fumes.

The album’s lead single, “White Christmas”, is a reinterpretation of the classic Christmas song of the same name. The band collaborated with Cyrus on the track; her vocals are accompanied by synth melodies and distorted guitar riffs.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – All I Want for Christmas

Though indie Christmas music is few and far between, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ embodies the meaning of the holiday season with their simple, charming cover of “All I Want for Christmas.” The song originally appeared on a 2004 holiday compilation called A Very Special Christmas 3, which benefitted the Special Olympics. It was also included on the band’s 2006 DVD, Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow.


We hope you enjoyed our list of the best indie rock Christmas music to get you in the holiday spirit! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

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