From the memories evoked by enduring favorites to the feelings that arise courtesy of freshly minted originals, Christmas music brings a full array of emotions — much like the season itself. While time-honored traditionalists like Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and Ella Fitzgerald will forever set the bar high this time of year, current chart-topping musicians are often brave enough to put their wonderfully unique stamp on the season’s most beloved classics, while others find comfort in setting their own words to melodies for the first time. Although there’s no shortage of new holiday music this year, we’ve rounded up a brief sampling of what you’ll hear on K-LOVE — both on the radio and on the K-LOVE Christmas stream — throughout the month of December. Here are eight Christmas songs from your favorite K-LOVE artists.
“White Christmas,” Tasha Layton
Tasha Layton’s sublime version of “White Christmas” is every bit as wistful as the original written for 1942 blockbuster “Holiday Inn.” Captured at Hollywood’s iconic EastWest Studios, where musical luminaries like Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones recorded, Layton’s rendering features accompaniment by 16 a cappella vocalists and an often overlooked verse that vividly sets the tune in the heart of sunny California. “I wanted to include a portion of [the verse] because it touches on my story, having lived in Los Angeles for a decade,” shares Layton. “This song is a classic, and what an opportunity to work with Tim Davis and the vocalists to record it in the Fred Waring style. My hope is that this arrangement captures the nostalgia of that era.” Layton’s “White Christmas” can be found on the expanded edition of her 14-track holiday effort, “This Is Christmas.”
“Wonderful Christmastime,” Blessing Offor
Blessing Offor covers Paul McCartney classic “Wonderful Christmastime” as part of a three-track holiday EP, new for 2023. The double GRAMMY® nominee’s naturally soulful vocal is a perfect fit for the jazzy standard that radiates bright R&B vibes from the top. The talented newcomer has a handful of remaining dates on his calendar before the end of the year that will likely find him sharing his fresh seasonal faire with a lucky few. Meanwhile, next year, he’ll join Lauren Daigle for her massive “Kaleidoscope Tour” in select cities throughout the spring.
“Go Tell It On The Mountain,” for KING & COUNTRY (feat. Gabby Barrett)
for KING & COUNTRY intertwine their signature harmonies around a steady drumbeat on seasonal favorite “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” Country sweetheart Gabby Barrett then lends her southern drawl to the second verse. Together, the “I Hope” songstress and the Smallbone brothers join forces for an epic celebration of the monumental birth of Christ, a moment in time worthy of proclamation. The award-winning duo is currently showcasing the standout selection from “A Drummer Boy Christmas” as they traverse the country on their annual holiday tour — a beloved spectacle filled with the caliber of showmanship and production value that have made for KING & COUNTRY one of the genre’s best live acts.
“Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” Elevation Worship
Elevation Worship’s take on “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” anchors the collective’s debut Christmas LP, “Echo The Angels.” Illuminated with modern production, the single features key group members Chris Brown, Jonsal Barrientes and Tiffany Hudson helming lead vocals against a backdrop of lush harmonies. “When the angel appeared to the shepherds in the field to tell them that the Savior had been born, then was joined by other angels singing and worshipping, it must’ve been an incredible sight and moment,” Brown remarks. “I wanted to have a song that captured that triumphant, grand announcement and appearance when heaven opened to celebrate Christ’s birth.”
“O Holy Night,” TAYA
TAYA adds her extraordinary vocal to beloved Christmas hymn “O Holy Night.” The full spectrum of her guttural voice is on spectacular display across the powerful ballad. Adding to the beauty of the single, TAYA was eight months pregnant when she recorded the track. “‘O Holy Night’ has always felt holy — a song full of such reverence that it never fails to not dampen my eyes or bring me to my knees, both literally and figuratively, in awe of the mercy and sovereignty of God,” the songstress shares. “These words have never felt more poignant or broken my heart more wide open than in this season of waiting and anticipating, with expectant joy, the arrival of our first child.” The “Oceans” singer and her husband welcomed their son, Bo Benaiah Gaukrodger, Oct. 20, 2023.
“(There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays,” Cochren & Co.
Cochren & Co. pine for home on their latest Christmas single. The group’s upbeat twist on “(There’s No Place Like) Home For The Holidays” feels appropriate considering the group has spent more time on the road in 2023 than they have in their native state of Indiana. The song also features the rare vocal of Leah, wife of lead singer Michael Cochren. “We’ve been touring nonstop this year, so it’s very fitting that we would release a song about longing to be home for the holidays,” he shares. “We had so much fun recording it. I hope you consider adding it to your playlist this holiday season.”
“Silver Bells,” Jeremy Rosado (feat. Riley Clemmons)
After releasing his debut single, “Come and See,” newcomer Jeremy Rosado had the opportunity to record a pair of Christmas songs as he continues to introduce himself to audiences worldwide. A former Top 10 finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” Rosado enlisted the help of his labelmate, Riley Clemmons, for a traditional arrangement of “Silver Bells.” The two pristine vocalists wrap their comfortable harmonies around a waltzing melody that spreads joy and anticipation with every note. In addition to his duet with Clemmons on “Silver Bells,” this year the singer also put his stamp on holiday favorite “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
“Christmas Hits Different,” TobyMac & Tasha Layton
For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year; but this season of celebration also has the power to serve up a lot of mixed emotions. For TobyMac, the impending holiday brings with it bittersweet memories of his son, Truett, who tragically passed away in 2019. So, for the McKeehan patriarch and his family, Christmas just hits different this year. That sentiment is what led the “Faithfully” singer to write the aptly titled “Christmas Hits Different.” For his new holiday song, Toby tapped longtime friend and former tourmate Tasha Layton to help him communicate the relatable meaning conveyed across the vulnerable pop track. “Christmas Hits Different” marks TobyMac’s first seasonal offering since 2017’s “Light of Christmas” LP.