The 12 Songs of December on Soundcloud

As a rule of thumb, 12 Songs looks beyond the standards because they occupy enough space in the culture without me giving them more. One of my core beliefs about Christmas music is that people don’t hate it as a body of music as much as they hate hearing the same 100 songs. No matter what music you love—boil it down to 100 songs for a month every year and those songs can lose their luster.

This month’s 12 Songs Playlist steers hard away from the Andy Williams and Frank Sinatra in favor of Jeremih & Chance the Rapper, Terrace Martin, and reggae, electronic music, and Mexican accordion music. Thee’s one heartfelt acoustic ballad, largely because Lowland Hum’s version of “Christmastime is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of the most beautiful versions of the song.