I should probably be working my Best of 2020 list right now, but as I set out to make my annual Christmas playlist I kept stumbling across great new albums and EPs. So while my top albums of 2020 list sits on the backburner for a few more weeks, enjoy this list of my top 10 new Christmas albums and EPs that were released this year. Oh, and stick around for that aforementioned playlist at the bottom of the page.
10. Andrew Stanton – Merry Riffmas! EP
I’m not sure which I enjoy more, instrumental rock covers of classic Christmas songs or puns. This EP is the best of both worlds.
9. Sarah Sparks – Advent, Pt. One
This album’s biggest fault is that it got lost in the avalanche of Christmas music this year. It should probably rank higher on my list than it does.
8. Jetty Rae – Christmas for the Birds EP
Jetty Rae came through this year with a fun Christmas pop EP. With originals like title track, guest vocals by Heath McNease, and a cover of The Fabulous Thunderbirds’ “Wrap it Up” there’s a lot packed into this short 11-minute EP.
7. The Myrrhderers – The Myrrhderers Sleigh Christmas EP
When Brandon shared this album on IVM last month I totally missed the novelty of it. So while I rather enjoyed the EP when I finally got around to listening to it I was a bit puzzled as to just who this band was supposed to be. Well now I get it. The Myrrhderers also released a second Christmas EP this year, The Myrrhderers Sleigh Some More, but this one is defiantly my favorite.
6. The Neon Ambience – A Neon Christmas
I found myself enjoying a lot of instrumental music this holiday season so when this album crossed my path it was a natural fit.
5. Caroline Cobb – A Seed, A Sunrise: Advent to Christmas Songs
If there is one artist I regret not including on Christmas playlist this year it’s Caroline Cobb. Maybe it’s for the best though as this is a collection of song best experienced together as a whole. The album spans the entirety of the Christmas story, from the anticipated Seed of David to the day the Light returns. It’s album packed with biblical inspiration and references.
4. Joshua Spacht – Christmas Carols
What I originally dismissed as just another instrumental Christmas album became this year’s sleeper hit–quite literally, I’ve fallen asleep listening to this album several times in the past few weeks. And I mean that in the best way possible, it’s a very relaxing, comforting album. If you find yourself needing a little background music this Christmas then throw this one on, you won’t regret it.
3. Tommee Profit – The Birth Of A King
Going into 2020 Christmas season I fully expected this album to be #1 pick for Christmas album of the year. I’ve been a big Tommee Profitt fan for a couple of years now so I trilled to see the announcement that he was releasing a Christmas album. And I was even more excited when I fould out was going to feature some of my favorite female vocalists like Sarah Reeves, SVRCINA, Ruelle, and Fleurie. And then I listened to interview Profitt did on the JFH podcast that got me even more stoked about this album. The truth is I might overhyped this album to point where there was no way it was going to live up to my expectations which lead a disappointing first listen. But subsequent listens proved it was still exceptional album sure become a Christmas staple for many.
2. Hangnail – Christmas Hymns EP
The last time Hangnail released a studio album or EP I was in middle school and had no idea who they were. So this isn’t a nostalgia pick for me, it’s just a good pop-punk Christmas EP. It definitely makes me interested in whatever future might hold for Hangnail.
1. Tow’rs – The Holly & the Ivy
A lot of times picking a top album can be tough, but this year there a clear choice for me. The Holly & the Ivy delivered exactly what I was wanting in a Christmas album with unique reeditions of Christmas classic intermingled with original songs. My one critique would be that the middle can drag out a little, but it’s well worth it in the end.
Flight Deck – Flight Deck the Halls EP
Jess Ray – Gloria Gloria EP
Pastor Brad – Have A Metal Christmas
Rend Collective – A Jolly Irish Christmas (Vol. 2)
Swedish Revolution x LoudWorship – Christmas Trap & Dance Remixes EP
A 2020 Christmas Playlist
I’ve sifted through the hundreds of new Christmas songs released in 2020 to bring a CD-length playlist of the very best–or at least my favorites anyway. And don’t worry, I’ve limited my song selections to include only one cover of each Christmas classic so you won’t hear 23 versions of “O Come O Come Emmanuel” when you listen.