Updated for 2017!
With so much Christmas music out there (both religious and secular), we thought it would be nice to compile a selection of some of our favourite Christian Christmas albums and songs. We have included a real mix of genres and musical styles so we’re sure there’ll be something in there for you – and maybe you’ll even find some new Christmas favourites this year!
You can also listen to a 2+ hour-long playlist of the best of the Christmas music featured here on Spotify or Deezer:
Listen now (Spotify) Listen now (Deezer)
(There’s also a downtempo / chill version of this playlist if you’re in a more reflective mood!)
We will be updating this list with new releases every week until Christmas 2017 so do check back for updates as the season gets underway…
NEW FOR 2017! 1. Tenth Avenue North - Decade The Halls, Vol. 1
It’s fair to say that Tenth Avenue North
had fun creating their Christmas release this year... and how creative they have been. In their 10-track Christmas album, they explore the styles and genres of music over the last 100 years, with each song encompassing a different decade. This is definitely one of the most musically absorbing Christmas releases we have seen in a long time, and we are thankful!
2. Matt Redman - These Christmas Lights
It’s been a while since a top worship artist has released a full length album of original Christmas music and Matt Redman
’s Christmas album has been a long, process involving a songwriting retreat to Israel where he walked paths and roads that are so familiar to us in the Christmas story. Redman explains: “I don’t just want to just tell a story, I want to make sure that we put ourselves in the story too.” Not only do these songs make great Christmas listening but Matt Redman’s Christmas album brings some new life to familiar carols with songs and original choruses for use in christmas worship services as well.
3. Brandon Heath - Christmas Is Here
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
As with most Christmas albums, Brandon Heath’s album contains a mix of original songs alongside his versions of many old favourites. His warm tone and the soft accompaniments really get you into the spirit of the season. If you want to hear the reasons behind his choices for the album, you can also hear a short commentary of each song on Spotify
NEW FOR 2017! 4. Casting Crowns - It's Finally Christmas
It’s been 9 years since Casting Crowns
gave us their first Christmas Album - Peace On Earth - and that album remains a seasonal favourite in our household. So the announcement that they would give us a new Christmas release in 2017 came as exciting news, but they also had a lot to live up to. We love the worshipful remaking of ‘What Child Is This (Christ The King)’ and the personal and hope-giving ‘Somewhere In Your Silent Night’ - which echoes some of their older releases which remain favourites in our hearts.
5. Salt Of The Sound - Waiting For The Dawn
Genre: Electronic / Ambient
Waiting For The Dawn is our first Advent / Christmas EP and centres around the theme of light, which is echoed in different ways across all of the songs, and features heavily in the Advent traditions of Nordic countries. The EP combines these Scandinavian influences with an focus on natural soundscapes, as well as featuring the unique blend of electronic synths, subtle vocal harmonies, and thoughtful lyrical messages that have been a feature of previous releases.
6. Josh Garrels - The Light Came Down
A typically innovative album from Josh Garrels
, featuring a mix of original songs as well as Garrels' unique take on a number of Christmas classics. Generous in length at over 50 minutes and 15 tracks, the album manages to explore many sonic and stylistic avenues and as such avoids becoming repetitive: The Light Came Down is definitely worth a listen to this Christmas season!
7. Future of Forestry - Advent-Christmas EP, Vol 3
If you are after something a little bit different this year, then you must check out the latest Christmas EP from Future of Forestry
. Unique and distinctive instrumentation are blended with vocal harmonies and in such a way that this Christmas EP creates a real sense of reverence during this advent season. Following on from their first two advent EPs, Volume 3 really achieves what it set out to: to glorify and honour God through music during this joyous and holy season.
8. Audrey Assad - Winter Snow & Midwinter
Genre: Alternative / Ambient
Fresh for 2016, Audrey Assad
has re-released a new version of 2010’s ‘Winter Snow’. Winter Snow changes the pace of our hectic modern day Christmas and allows us to reflect on the gentle way in which He came “Falling from the sky in the night to the earth below”. This release comes alongside another track: ‘Midwinter’ - her take on ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’ and while Audrey is yet to make a full Christmas album for us, she has promised that there will be more to follow this season and well, we will welcome them - thank you Audrey!
NEW FOR 2017! 9. Bryan & Katie Torwalt - Christmas
This 2017 4-track EP is the first we have heard from the duo in a Christmas setting and while short, they create beautiful renditions of classics including ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’. The final track ‘Emmanuel (God With Us) is the only original song on the album and it is more in keeping with the worship sound we know them for. This concise EP is a great offering for this and many more Christmas seasons to come!
10. Sidewalk Prophets - Merry Christmas To You
In their 2013 album Merry Christmas To You, Sidewalk Prophets
bring a lot to the Christmas table. Their sounds vary from track to track, and their instrumentation is diverse and well-thought through. (Oh, and there are plenty of Christmas bells in there to add to the spirit of the season). 'Hey Moon' is a particularly beautiful and heartfelt song on this well-produced Christmas album and we love their version of 'White Christmas' (ft. Francesca Battistelli).
11. Pentatonix - A Pentatonix Christmas
We couldn’t let this year slip by without giving giving ‘O Come Let Us Adore Him’ a mention from The Pentatonix
’s latest Christmas album. Definitely the most fun and creative version of this traditional carol we have heard. This song is sure to add some joy to your holiday playlist!
12. Lauren Daigle - Behold: A Christmas Collection
If it’s a remaking of Christmas classics that you are after - then check out award-winning artist Lauren Daigle
’s Christmas offering this year. From well-loved classics to carols - there is something for everyone on this album. We have loved Daigle’s previous Christmas releases and are excited that she is bringing more to the table in 2016.
13. Various Artists - Christmas: Joy to the World
This short compilation album by Centricity Music
stand-out original Christmas tunes including Dove Award Winner Lauren Daigle’s original version of 'Light of the World'. Also noteworthy on this album is Unspoken’s rendition of the Spanish Christmas Song 'Feliz Navidad' as you have never heard it before - this one is definitely worth a listen this Christmas.
You may also be interested in:
14. For King & Country - Into the Silent Night (EP)
This four track EP, released in 2013 by For King & Country
, delivers everything you would expect from this band with big sounds developing from well orchestrated arrangements. Their original song ‘Baby Boy’ is worth a listen, as are the other three songs on this Christmas EP.
15. Donnie McClurkin - Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Without a doubt, this is my favourite version of this song! Donnie McClurkin
brings to life this traditional carol through his soulful gospel version. The use of saxophone and ‘Hark the Herald’ choral reprise at the end of the track are just magic to the ears. Whatever your preconceptions or thoughts of this song - you need to give this one a go!
16. Cathy Burton - All I Can Do
Released last year, 'All I Can Do' is a reworked version of 'In the Bleak Midwinter'. It was released in association with Home For Good
, which is a UK-based charity that seeks to find homes for all children, in a world where thousands of refugee children face displacement and homelessness. The song reminds us of an often overlooked aspect of the Christmas story: the Jesus himself was a child refugee and through this reminder, urges us to respond.
17. WOW Worship - Christmas and Gospel Christmas Compilation Albums
And if all those albums aren’t enough for you, you will not struggle to find some Christmas gems on the latest WOW Worship Christmas
and the WOW Gospel Christmas
compilation albums, featuring many favourite artists and Christmas songs, as well as some original Christmas gems that will no doubt become part of Christmas traditions for years to come.
Have a truly blessed Christmas as you keep this joyous holiday season!