As we gear up for the holidays, it is important to get into the spirit. While, of course, jamming to your favorite genre or exploring new artists. This Black Friday Holiday List is inspired by Dance & Hyper Pop songs that keep the blood pumping on cold days. Artists that are true innovators of funky synths, pc-generated tunes, and vocal slayage include Slayyyter, Tinashe, Azealia Banks, Spice Girls, GFOTY, and 100 gecs!
1. “All I Want for Xxxmas” by Slayyyter ft. Ayesha Erotica
This track is the one time it’s perfectly okay to be on Slayyyter’s naughty list! Slayyter’s staple sound is heavy bass and highly-processed vocals, and “All I Want For Xxxmass” is nothing short of exactly that, plus a few odd jingles. The versatility, or total disregard for structure, makes the track an unconventional, entertaining listen. Slayyyter starts explicitly, “All I want for Christmas is to get f*cked / Take a big hit, get my t*ts sucked.” And, yes, detail and noises are overwhelming, but it’s entirely campy with the distorted Christmas sounds in the back; it’s completely ironic. There isn’t much to say besides those opening lines. At the bridge, Ayesha Erotica raps, creating a tempo change that reeves up the energy like a motorcycle rather than a hyper-Christmas sound. From then, it sounds like a Christmas-gone-wrong. Or, maybe, a typical Christmas for Slayyyter.
2. “Have Yourself A Merry Christmas” by Tinashe
In this cover, Tinashe gives her fans a cozy R&B track to jam to with the family. Her voice is smooth as honey and sounds dynamic, gliding seamlessly between head voice and belts. Along with the beat, sweet bells are chiming with a trap beat that slowly guides the song. And, of course, there are plenty of harmonies to make her sound fuller. When Tinashe belts, “If the fates allow / Hang a shining star above the highest bough,” she breaks away from backing vocals to reach a high note that is utterly delicious! From the guitars, snaps, jingles to the teardrop-sounding melodies and gorgeous runs, Tinashe shines on this Christmas classic!
3. “Icy Colors Change” by Azealia Banks
This original track from Azealia Banks features a beat from “Airglow Fires” by Lone. According to Genius, this track is about “Azealia falling in love, and having the relationship develop during the seasons – in which they spend the holidays together”. The sound uses fewer Christmas sounds than other tracks; however, the beginning has glimmer sounds and dotting instrumentation, which gives an optimistic winter wonderland atmosphere. Then, the track quickly transitions to heavy synths and raps, “Got that good good / Make you wanna stay, home for the holiday.” During the verses there is additional holiday sparkle, but her flow entrances you to dance away. She raps, “What’s on your wishlist? / Got what you want, my love is like Christmas / Candles, kisses, diamonds, frigid, fashion district.” If you are tired of traditional holiday music or carols and need a quick pick-me-up or dance break, Banks has your back!
4. “Christmas Wrapping” by Spice Girls
The Spice Girls put their own spin on The Waitresses’ Christmas classic, “Christmas Wrapping.” This trademark holiday song was made in 1981 but rerecorded by the internationally-acclaimed British girl group in 1998. Although it didn’t garner additional success for the already-megastars, it’s a fun addition to their catalog. There’s a nostalgic electric guitar in the intro, leading into a bubbly pop frequently seen in the late 90s. Melanie C., or Sporty Spice, takes over the first verse with lots of energy, “So deck the halls and trim those trees / Raise up the cups of Christmas cheer / I just need to catch my breath / Christmas with my mates this year.” The Spice Girls dazzle on this track full of jingles and lightness, with trumpets carrying them off as they all cheer, “Merry Christmas!”
5. “Christmas Day” by GFOTY
“Christmas Day” by GFOTY is probably the most bizarre compilation of sounds in a holiday record. From PC-generated lasers to an operatic choir, then sweet jingles, this song has the strangest arrangement that seemingly works. In the chorus, she says, Angel, Mistletoe, Christmas Day / Let me ride your Christmas sleigh.” There are claps that encourage a buildup and Auto-Tuned verses, but it’s very selective. In the second verse, she raps, “Fell in love with a tiny elf / In the shape of a snowflake on Christmas Day / Snowman B-F-O-T-Y has melted away / It’s sad, it’s Christmas day. Although the lyrics aren’t skillful, I would say the production is more of the stand-out of this track. GFOTY takes Christmas music to an experimental winter wonderland.
6. “sympathy 4 the grinch” by 100 gecs
My final recommendation is actually an anti-Christmas song. “sympathy 4 the grinch” by 100 gecs is about feeling overlooked by Santa Claus. And, “the grinch” refers to 100 gecs, who hate the winter holiday like Dr. Seuss’s character. The duo’s signature style of Auto-Tuned and pitched vocals are instantly present in the intro. They share the intro, “I’ve been good like every single day / Looked under my tree, my box was empty / Santa made an enemy that day (What the f*ck?)”. Then, they go into the chorus, where the jingles are barely audible as there’s heavy drum racket and hectic la-la-la-las. For as much as they “hate” Christmas, the production sounds like a Christmas-gone-wrong. This song would be perfect for a Home Alone movie montage, where Kevin is busy defending his house from tacky invaders. It has the right amount of chaotic jingle and mischievous synths to have any family gathering intrigued by the 100 gecs’ holiday story.
What dance or hyper pop songs are on your holiday list? Let us know in the comments!