40 Essential Christmas Albums

Classics and new entries worthy of your holiday bonus

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Low, 'Christmas'
Courtesy of Kranky Records18/40

18. Low, 'Christmas'

Low, an indie band from Minnesota, specializes in music moving at the tempo of glaciers, with exquisitely precise two-part harmonies. That approach proves to be remarkably well-suited to Yule standards: when you have to consider every note, even "The Little Drummer Boy" can become an object of astonishing beauty, inspiring a seasonal sense of wonder. This 1999 EP (released in a limited edition, but now available on streaming services) contains four traditional songs and four Low originals.

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