Ah, Christmastime. Through a blur of red-and-green bulb lights, inflatable lawn decorations and bizarre/awesome/awful sweaters, you have no choice but to take in an avalanche of stimuli -- and no sense is greater during this season that sound, as in, "hearing Christmas music 24/7." I mean, you might eat a lot of great food smell some delightful, homey pine needles, but you can't escape the music.
The cool thing about Christmas 2015 is how plenty of musicians realized the need for fresh tunes and then actually delivered them. Between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we were gifted with a crop of new jams -- but which one is actually the most Christmasy? That's what we aim to find out.
Miley Cyrus & The Flaming Lips: "My Sad Christmas Song"
When It Dropped: Miley and her psychedelic crew dropped this weepy yuletide ballad late Thursday night, Dec. 24, via Soundcloud as St. Nick presumably made his rounds and Miley presumably sat longingly gazing out a lightly frost-covered windowpane. "Wishing you a Merry Christmas," she sings to end the tune, which means she's still hopeful through all that jaded cynicism, right?
How Christmasy Is It? ???? out of five because the holiday blues are real, y'all.
The Weeknd: "Low Life" (ft. Future) & "Pass Dat" (Remix)
How Christmasy Is It? ??? out of five because the subject matter couldn't be further from the red-and-green season, but these were undeniably still gifts that we feel #blessed to have received.
Green Day: "Xmas Time Of The Year"
When It Dropped: On Christmas Eve, the band tweeted out this gleeful, peppy power pop song that sounds way more Big Star than Green Day, but that's totally cool with me. This is also the first new music we've heard from Green Day in a year and a half, so it felt good.
How Christmasy Is It? ??? out of five because while this is a fine new entry into the Christmas tune catalog, I feel like it could've benefitted from an angelic choir in addition to its sleigh bells. But that's just me.
Busta Rhymes: The Return Of The Dragon (The Abstract Went On Vacation)
When It Dropped: Christmas afternoon, Busta roared back into our lives with a new mixtape featuring Mary J. Blige, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, Jadakiss, Raekwon, Chance the Rapper, MF Doom, Gucci Mane and others.
How Christmasy Is It? ??? out of five because Christmas dragons are apparently a thing now?
When It Dropped: In a strange turn of events, Radiohead were apparently commissioned to write the theme to latest James Bond film "Spectre," which was then rejected in favor of Sam Smith's "Writing's On The Wall." But because the Internet exists, Radiohead shared the track for us all anyway on Christmas morning, just like the benevolent arty Santa Clauses we secretly know they were.
How Christmasy Is It? ??? out of five because it's not Christmasy in the least bit, but it was still a wonderful gift to receive nonetheless.
Future Islands: "Last Christmas"
How Christmasy Is It? ???? out of five because even if all these tunes are far from jolly, they're impeccably recorded and performed, so that counts for something.
LCD Soundsystem: "Christmas Will Break Your Heart"
When It Dropped: If 18 months was a long time to wait for new Green Day tunes, then the five years since LCD Soundsystem's last album has been a legitimate eternity. And even if the newest jam they shared on Christmas Eve is a bit bleak ("another one of those songs which had about 75 lines of lyrics, though we’ve knocked down to 8 to keep the suicide rate in check," the band wrote), it's just great to hear anything.
How Christmasy Is It? ????? out of five for a lot of reasons, but mainly just because it feels good to have LCD back in our lives. Merry Christmas indeed.