Sound Sunday presents music for the week before Christmas. Get into the mood with a selection of pop, folk, soul, and jazz albums, all legal and free. Happy Holidays!
Note that name your price albums can be downloaded for free by entering 0 in the price field. That said, we strongly recommend you to donate a few dollars for music you enjoy!
You are welcome to submit your music, send suggestions with free albums you have discovered, or request genres I haven’t covered in a while. For all Sound Sunday related inquiries, please contact Tina [tina at makeuseof dot com].
Free Song: Ayana George – Oh Come Emmanuel
Genre: gospel, r&b, soul
From the song page: “A beautifully orchestrated arrangement of a classic advent hymn that mixes both the old with the new, yet totally in the same spirit. The result is absolutely wonderful. Blessed with the tremendous vocal gifting of Ayana George this record will take your breath away.”
Oh Come Emmanuel is a free download from Bandcamp.
The Glass Child – Broken Little Winter
Genre: alternative, acoustic, pop
From the album page: “Thank you so so much to the moon and back for downloading my little christmas gift to you. I was brainstorming ideas of how I could show you how thankful and grateful I am for the beautiful support you’ve given me this year, and after countless nights and mostly weird ideas I decided to stick to what I love the most – music. I’ve worked on this little christmas-EP by myself in my cozy little room with mulled wine and tons of candles and I really hope you will like it! I can’t describe how much it means to do this journey with all of you and I don’t think you understand how beautiful it is that we’ve created this family, this community, by just pure music and passion.
Here’s to another year of dreams and goals, of fighting and striving, of learning and growing and of love and music.
I’ll never take you or any of this for granted. Thank you for existing, exactly as you are <3”
Broken Little Winter is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Said The Whale – West Coast Christmas EP Collection
Genre: alternative, indie, folk, pop, rock
From their album page: “Since our band started in 2007, we have released a Christmas EP every December. Typically the download link expires sometime in March, and the songs vanish into the ether. Now, back from where they’ve been hiding in the outer limits of the internet, are all the songs in one collection sequenced in chronological order. You can have them for free, or you can select a price you think is fair. All the profit from this album will go directly towards recording debts and other band expenses.”
West Coast Christmas EP Collection is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Terri Hendrix – Christmas on Wilory Farm
Genre: alternative, folk, americana, country, eclectic, folk
From Wikipedia: “Terri Hendrix is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and independent artist from San Marcos, Texas, who has been offering an eclectic brand of Americana — encompassing folk, pop, country, blues and jazz — for more than two decades. To date, Hendrix has released 14 albums on her own Wilory Records label, co-wrote the Grammy-winning song “Lil’ Jack Slade” by the Dixie Chicks, and, in 2011, published a book, Cry Til You Laugh — The Part That Ain’t Art.”
Christmas on Wilory Farm is a free download from Bandcamp.
Jordan Klassen – Santa Klassen
Genre: folk, pop
From his Facebook page: “Jordan Klassen makes music built out of pure imagination. A truly alluring voice, laid upon beds of shimmering strings, caressed guitar, and coaxing percussion. His latest work takes such a foundation, and continues to build?.”
Santa Klassen is a free download from Bandcamp.
Timbre – Silent Night
Genre: indie, crossover, folk, a cappella, cello, classical, choral
From the album page: “Harpist Timbre has released a Christmas record, “Silent Night”, that manages to be both incredibly unique and nostalgic, reminding listeners of snowy Christmas Eves and joyful Christmas mornings. The album is made up of incredibly creative re-imaginations of traditional Christmas carols, breathing new life and depth into their arrangements.”
Silent Night is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Alannah McCready – Songs For The Holidays
Genre: pop, country
From her homepage: “Alannah is inspired by the huge successes in her unique background. She may be the only recording artist in the world with “epic” Hockey skills, to use her favorite word. “Hockey has been a part of my entire family growing up and it brought me to a million different places. My brother and I were always around it, often spending summers training in Toronto and flying every which way for games. I think almost every person on the McCready side has strapped on the skates at least a hundred times in their lives. It’s the Scandinavian blood.””
Songs For The Holidays is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
How To Throw A Christmas Party – Selftitled
Genre: indie, pop, folk
How To Throw A Christmas Party is the selftitled album of a Dutch band you wouldn’t want to miss for any gold, frankincense, or myrrh in the world. At least they say so.
How To Throw A Christmas Party is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
James Whetzel – Holiday: Sarod & Beats
Genre: alternative, indie acoustic, instrumental, classical, electronica
From his Facebook page: “Indie producer and musician James Whetzel is a classically trained sarod and tabla player who sings, plays palm-wine guitar, and DJs clever beats; he combines these elements with a slew of other instruments to create new music that melds acoustic and electronic sounds, the melodic subtleties of ragas with punchy desi beats, elegant African grooves, hiphop & rawk. He’s also a uniquely gifted throat singer.”
Holiday: Sarod & Beats is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Prairie Empire – Auld Lang Syne
Genre: indie, folk
From their Facebook page: “No one alive today can assay for certain the scope and reach that is Prairie Empire. Arcing across the untrammeled and mysterious blank on the map that is the Great American Desert, from the crumbling wharves of Brooklyn to the misty mountains of Oregon, the only thing that can be said for certain is that Ms. Brittain Ashford stands at its center. But is she its Secret Empress, or merely the inscrutable power behind the throne of its mellifluous and far-flung sonic landscape? Where Ashford came from is an enigma; one day, she simply appeared on the Coney Island Boardwalk, carrying a Gladstone bag packed with a dulcimer and a glockenspiel, and clutching an autoharp to her chest like an orphan, abandoned on some distant doorstep, that she alone can protect and carry into the wide, wicked world.”
Auld Lang Syne is a name your price download from Bandcamp.
Various Artists – Honeycomb Christmas
Genre: r&b, soul
Josh writes: “For me Christmas means so many things. I’m well aware that although we don’t know the actual date that Jesus Christ was born, Dec. 25th is the chosen date to celebrate his birthday. I grew up in Brooklyn NY. And as a child, Christmas meant sweet potato pie, soul food, and the most important thong if all, TOYS! It had to be the most exciting day of the year for me. We lived in the projects and didn’t have much. But I knew I was going to get at least one toy. And there was a Salvation Army kind of a place in the Brooklyn Navy Yard that gave gifts away to kids. And then there was Macy’s on 34th St. The window displays were always super laid out. The puppets that moved, the scenery, the smell of pine, all of the big boxes, the colorful gift wrapping paper, and the people seemed to be happier around this time. It was the absolute best time. It seemed to snow every Christmas back then. Snow ball fights was our thing. Christmas carols became my favorite type of music. The songs always brought me to that happy place. I remember watching “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” with my family and hearing the beautiful song “Christmas Time Is Here.” The entire television special was filled with musical gems. The Vince Guaraldi Trio is the band responsible for that soundtrack. It remains in my top 5 favorite recordings of all time. It’s the reason why “What Child is This” made it on this project. I strongly believe in the spirit of Christmas. And after the recent disaster we’ve witnessed in the east coast with Hurricane Sandy, I believe that healing is needed. It’s our hope that this project will not only spread some Christmas cheer in your life, but will inspire you to spread that same spirit, and cheer in someone else’s. I don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, but I’m so glad that he was. Happy Birthday Jesus, and Merry Christmas to you all.”
Honeycomb Christmas is a free download from Bandcamp.
Jae Jin – It’s Christmas Again
Genre: jazz, r&b, soul
Jae writes: “This holiday concept album came to fruition through collaboration, love, and grace. This release fills me with an urge to cast a net of utmost gratitude, far and wide. First and foremost, to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, may all glory and honor go to Him. To my family, especially my loving parents. To A. Vazquez, N. Valentin, and Tim Kim, whose substantial efforts and sweat equity have made this album possible. To all the musicians/collaborators for this album, who graciously let me use their talents to make this album sound better than it would have been. To Jamie G, through whose generosity and financial support helped me to get the physical album into people’s hands. And last but not least, to all my dear friends and supporters, who have offered me such unmerited support and continue to push me to move forward and do what I love to do. Have a wonderful Christmas and God bless.”
It’s Christmas Again is a free download from Bandcamp.
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Feel free to get in touch with me [tina at makeuseof dot com] to share free material, suggestions, and feedback or simply add your comments below.