As an early Christmas gift, we’re kicking it oldschool and giving you our hearts and minds in the form of a mixtape. Now, we’re sure one look at that tracklist is enough to tell you this isn’t your typical holiday mix—that’s fine, we love keeping you on your toes. You see, rather than simply compiling Christmas’ greatest hits (that’s what Spotify’s ready-made playlists are for), each of us named a song that, without fail, makes us think of the holidays. And because the holidays mean different things to different people, that exercise resulted in a collection of songs that don’t really make much sense together. But—and this is the important thing—each song is rendered indispensible because they share in one unifying goal: to make something honest for a waiting audience.
That’s who we are here at Evident. That’s what we do.
Song: Shake it Out by Florence and the Machine
A gentle reminder to shake off your food demons if you don’t plan to welcome 2017 10 pounds heavier
Song: All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey (and other christmas songs performed by divas)
My cousin (who’s also our neighbor) is a big Mariah fan, and she blasts this song whenever she’s at home during Christmas break.
Song: Retrograde by James Blake
I love chill and smooth tracks during the holidays. Aside from the single album’s cover reminding me of snow and pensive end of year thoughts, James Blake’s take on testy commitments reminds me of the frailty of human relationships. It reminds me of the coldness of the weather and of some people’s emotions.
Song: Love is the Answer by Raymond Hannisian
For the last 4 years, this song marked the season for me because my college org, AteneoGabay, would always sing it during our December caroling nights out. The song’s message is also very relevant, especially given the year that was. Personally, the song gives me a sense of being at home, a feeling that I associate with the holidays.
Song: Believe by Josh Groban
I first heard it when I watched Polar Express (my favorite Christmas movie). This song made me realize that as we grow older, we tend to forget what it’s truly like to be a child and believe in something magical. Reality kicks in and we lose our childlike wonder… but somehow December rolls and it always resurfaces! So, this song just brings back that magical feeling inside me like how Christmas does despite my jaded view on the world.
Song: Dunkin’ Donuts Pamasko Ng Bayan
My family really loves Dunkin’ Donuts. So much so that we got a free CD in 2004 with 12 Christmas songs and even if it wasn’t Christmas, we’d still listen to it on the way to school. Kahitsa Noche Buena mo ngayong Pasko, mag-Dunkin naaaa.
Song: The Blizzard by Camera Obscura
A strange but compelling cover of an old Jim Reeves song. It has all the hallmarks of a Camera Obscura track; the pleasant and sombre sound, mixed with heartache, sorrow and romance. It might be too melancholic for the holidays, but it does force you to think about the important things in your own life.
Song: Christmas in Our Hearts” by Jose Mari Chan aka the OG Filipino Christmas tune.
I miss elementary school Christmas parties. Nothing is quite as festive as picking out your best clothes for the party, eating hotdogs with marshmallows, and doing a mediocre rendition of Jose Mari Chan’s hits in front of everyone. I still get the warm fuzzies whenever I hear about seeing boys and girls selling lanterns on the street.
Song: Forget December by Something Corporate
This was my favorite song on “A Santa Cause: A Punk Rock Christmas,” which was released in 2003. My inner emo kid has grown up, but I still feel a nice little heartstring tug when I hear: “On Christmas morning, / outside was storming, / all was hopeless in this home.”
Song: White Winter Hymnal (Cover) by Birdy
This song has the atmosphere of a tragic winter, or at least what I imagine one to be. I’ve never personally experienced the season, but I love my idea of it, stitched together from various poems and art work and tv shows. The chill is unpleasant, but the warmth of a cabin fire manages to chase it away. You’re snowed in but that just means more time with your coffee. That kind of thing. I prefer this one to the Fleet Foxes original, especially during the holidays—strangely enough, the original makes me think of spring. Though I’ve never experienced that one, either.
Song: La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong
the intro reminds me of Christmas – family and friends gathered around the Christmas tree, catching up, drinking hot chocolate. Very chill and soothing, just how I like to celebrate Christmas every year.