The Spotify playlist of holiday music released in 2021 features 31 tunes. Here are some highlights.
Yes, America, there is a new Mariah Carey holiday song. While the 27-year-old "All I Want for Christmas Is You" again tops the global pop charts, the holiday diva is back with "Fall in Love at Christmas," a super-smooth collab with pop singer Khalid and hip-hop gospel bandleader Kirk Franklin.
Michael Bublé is Carey's chief competitor as Christmas brand ambassador. This year, the good-natured crooner is singing "The Christmas Sweater" — "The uglier the better, hon."
Kelly Clarkson's "Christmas Isn't Canceled (Just You)" pretends to proffer a political perspective but is really about dumping a humbug boyfriend.
"Voyager," the first album in 40 years by Abba, includes "Little Things," a sweet, folkie reflection on the joys of the holiday.
Sad-song specialist Phoebe Bridgers releases a charity Christmas song every year. "Day After Tomorrow" is an exquisitely turned 2004 Tom Waits song that gives voice to a soldier coming home.
"All my friends hang mistletoe on Christmas Eve," Israeli singer-songwriter Rosi Golan sings on her lovely Hanukkah song "Eight Nights." "But I've got eight nights in December."
Chicago's Beach Bunny delivers "Christmas Caller," a slice of jangly indie yule pop.
"Come Some Christmas Eve" is a power-pop holiday tune from indie supergroup Tall Poppy Syndrome that includes Vince Melouney, a former member of the Bee Gees, and the great Blondie drummer Clem Burke.
Speaking of supergroups, Jimmy Fallon, Ariana Grande and Megan Thee Stallion team up for "It Was a ... (Masked Christmas)," a silly song with an important message. "It was a masked Christmas," the unlikely trio sing and rap, promoting COVID-19 booster shots.
Americana singer Allison Russell, the force behind one of the best albums of 2021, offers a gorgeous version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," sung in French and English.
Canadian country singer Tenille Townes contributes a sweet, sad-eyed take on "Pretty Paper," Willie Nelson's 1963 song.