It’s no secret around here–we love us some Whissell, y’all. The Nashville-based pop songcrafter is one-of-a-kind, and as we’ve said previously, her “distinct and soulful tone places her head and shoulders above the current female pop vocalist status quo as she takes her place amidst very “of-the-moment”electro-blues stylizers like Bishop Briggs and Rag N’ Bone Man; that husky voice, which could make reading the dictionary aloud sound fifty shades of sultry…The depth of emotion she is able to convey is exceptional.” Swoon.
That’s why we were totally pumped that she wanted to make us a playlist to usher in our holidays in style (plus, she released “One Wish,” her own groovy Christmas tune, check it out here). Her list encompasses old and new, with nods to Nashville peers definitely included, AND she gives us a little backstory on each selection. It will definitely keep you rockin’ around your Christmas tree:
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
Released back in 1963, this is my favorite song off of the Christmas compilation album, A Christmas Gift For You. It has all of the best classic Christmas songs on it and I could have easily put everything from that album on this playlist. If old school Christmas music is your jam, make sure you check it out!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – *NSYNC
Dare I say the best Christmas of all time was when Santa brought me this CD in my stocking? I will always love you, Justin.
Last Christmas – Wham
First, RIP George Michael. Second, it’s confession time. Every single Christmas I wear this song out. I think I am responsible for at least half of its plays on Spotify. I listen to the point where I absolutely hate it and think I could never listen to it again and then another year passes, Christmas time rolls around again, and I’m right back where I started.
White Christmas – Irving Berlin, The Drifters
If you didn’t picture Kevin McCallister lip syncing into his hairbrush the moment you heard this, then please drop whatever you are doing and go watch Home Alone immediately.
Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town – Bruce Springsteen
I saw The Boss in concert last year and he played for four straight hours and took ONE five minute break. At age 68! If there’s one thing better than the The Boss just being himself, it’s The Boss singing Christmas songs.
You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch –Thurl Ravenscroft
“I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole!” When you were growing up, did you love the animated version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas as much as I did? Well if so, have fun trying to remember all of the lyrics to this silly song!
Please Come Home for Christmas – Eagles
I don’t know if it’s the album art or that fact that my family and I really love the Eagles but this song reminds me of sunny, warm Christmases growing up in Florida!
Wonderful Christmastime – Daniella Mason
I think Daniella is one of the most talented artists in Nashville! After you fall in love with her voice on this song, go listen to her self-titled album that she just released a few months ago. It’s phenomenal!
Everyday Is Christmas – Sia
Am I the only one who didn’t know Sia just released an entire Christmas album? I discovered it yesterday and am already obsessed. This song is one I will definitely be belting out around the house (apologies in advance to my neighbors).
River – Joni Mitchell
This is, hands down, one of the most beautiful Christmas songs I have ever heard. I get tears in my eyes every time. How can Joni be so good?
Blue Christmas – Elvis
Anyone who knows me, knows my love for The King (I even covered “All Shook Up” earlier this year). On this one Elvis reminds us that nothing is more blue than unrequited love.
All I Ever Get For Christmas is Blue – Whissell, Matthew Perryman Jones
Matthew Perryman Jones and I decided to cover this Over The Rhine song last year and now it’s my most streamed song! To quote the lyrics, “When you play my song, play it slowly, play it like I’m sad and lonely…” This song definitely requires some red wine or whiskey while listening to it.
The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) – Alvin & The Chipmunks
Reasons this song is on the playlist: 1. It’s in the opening scene of one of my favorite movies of all time, Almost Famous. 2. This song won THREE Grammys 3. Hearing people try to sing this song like The Chipmunks is highly entertaining.
Home for the Holiday – Sugar & The Hi Lows
I’ve had the pleasure of writing several songs with Trent Dabbs (including my most recent single, “One Wish”) and he is incredibly talented. His band with Amy Stroup, Sugar & The Hi Lows, put out an entire Christmas album a few years back and it still gives me all of the feels. Get a blanket, open up a bottle of wine, and cozy up to your loved one while listening to this one.
Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child – Mariah Carey
Were you just about to exhale a sigh of relief that I didn’t put Mariah Carey on here? Well truth be told Mariah Carey has one of my favorite Christmas albums of all time. Just imagine a young Whissell with braces, acne, and frizzy hair belting out every single note of this song in the mirror (all months of year)…it’s a scary image. Regardless, you should sit back and let Mariah take you to church with this one!