Friday Five (Holiday Edition): Darlene Love, 100 Gecs, and more
Old and new songs to get you in the seasonal spirit.
Every Friday, EW's music team runs down the five best songs of the week. For today's edition, we're doing something a little different: highlighting our favorite (old and new) holiday songs. Enjoy!
"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" — Darlene Love
The one non-negotiable record every holiday at home growing up was always A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector, which inevitably felt a lot less festive after Spector killed a woman and went to prison. But absolutely none of that is Darlene Love’s fault, and this song — with its layer-cake Wall of Sound production and her gorgeous, inimitable voice — still epitomizes the spirit of the season to me, because it is so sweet and sad and just jingle-jangle perfect. It somehow never gets diluted no matter how many movies or shows or Macy’s commercials they stick it in. —Leah Greenblatt
"Sympathy 4 the Grinch" — 100 gecs
Given their Alvin and the Chipmunks-indebted Auto-Tune and colorful production that mirrors the flamboyant glow of a beaming Christmas tree, it makes perfect sense for 100 gecs to release a Christmas song. However, rather than nod to the wholesome carols of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, Laura Les and Dylan Brady’s “Sympathy 4 the Grinch” is a mischievous pop-punk track about traveling to the North Pole to steal the gifts they didn’t get from Santa himself. With a Mark Hoppus-indebted bassline, puckish gang vocals, and even a ska “pick-it-up," it’s a delightfully ridiculous tune that joins the greater lineage of bratty mall-kid Christmas songs — nestling right in between Blink-182’s sneering “Happy Holidays, You Bastard” and Hollywood Undead’s naughty list anthem, “Christmas in Hollywood." The halls have now been officially been gec’d. —Eli Enis
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” — Dokken
Turn your fireplaces up to 11: Dokken is here with a rockin’ (rokken?) take on this Yuletide classic that lends a snarl and an air of menace to the arrival of our Christmas hero. Did they rip themselves off by using the chord progression from the verses of their 1987 single “Dream Warrior”? They sure as hell did! But come on, isn’t Christmas a time for sharing? —Dan Snierson
“Christmas Always Finds Me” — Ingrid Andress
While it was originally released in March, right as the world went into lockdown, the Best New Artist Grammy nominee’s Lady Like exuded fall vibes, best exemplified by the standout single “More Hearts Than Mine.” It makes sense then for Andress to go one season further by releasing an original Christmas song. With this track, the singer-songwriter finds a way to capture the melancholy of the holidays spent social distancing while still maintaining a timeless message about the healing properties of the Christmas spirit. —Marcus Jones
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" — Tinashe
Tinashe's recent surprise holiday EP, Comfort & Joy, adds a contemporary flare to timeless Christmas classics. Closer "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" sees the R&B singer skipping across a stuttering beat and airy keys — a unique punch to a song you've likely heard 40 million times or more. —Alex Suskind