The Top 20 Saddest Christmas Songs

Gather round the Christmas tree and get ready to cry!

Phoebe Bridgers - Christmas Song (Official Audio)

Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy, but sometimes you're not feeling the cheer.

Or maybe you just love sad music and want to get in the holiday spirit. Whatever your reason for listening to melancholy music, there are plenty of devastating Christmas songs to help you cozy up with a cup of spiked cider and the blues. From indie gems to old classics, are our favorites.

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New Releases

Phoebe Bridgers Gets Lost Around the World with "Kyoto"

The singer-songwriter's sophomore album, Punisher, is out in June.

Phoebe Bridgers always wanted to go to Japan.

The singer-songwriter released her 2017 debut album, Stranger In the Alps, as a relatively unknown performer. But with the snowball success of the record—as well as ventures with her other bands, boygenius and Better Oblivion Community Center—Bridgers has become a staple in current indie folk-rock, so much so that she was able to visit Japan for the first time while on tour.

But playing her music to a Japanese crowd was a bittersweet experience for Bridgers, who wrote her new song, "Kyoto," about the imposter syndrome she felt. It's natural—perhaps a knee-jerk reaction, even—to feel detached from reality during trying times, but what about when good things happen and it makes you feel like you're living somebody else's life? The first song from her upcoming second solo album, Punisher, "Kyoto" luxuriates in that disorienting state when distant dreams finally materialize. It's Bridgers' most upbeat track since her breakout single, "Motion Sickness," though originally written as a ballad. "At that point I was so sick of recording slow songs, it turned into this," she explained in a statement.

Propelled by chugging guitars and an exultant trumpet solo, "Kyoto" feels triumphant, though its lyrics allude to animosity. "I don't forgive you / But please don't hold me to it," Bridgers sings. "I wanted to see the world / Through your eyes until it happened / Then I changed my mind." The video was originally intended to be filmed on location in Japan last month, though that plan didn't work out for obvious reasons. Instead, Bridgers and friends go sightseeing with the help of a green screen.

Listen to "Kyoto" below. Punisher is out June 19.

New Releases

Bright Eyes Make a Welcome Return with "Persona Non Grata"

It's the indie rock trio's first new song in nearly a decade.

Bright Eyes - Persona Non Grata (Official Visualizer)

After nearly a decade of silence, a new song from Bright Eyes has landed.

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Fenne Lily's "Hypochondriac" Reckons with Emotional Fallout

It's the budding singer-songwriter's debut on seminal indie label Dead Oceans.

Fenne Lily - Hypochondriac (Official Audio)

For those who know firsthand, feeling emotions to their extremes can create some painful results.

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"Garden Song" Is One of Phoebe Bridgers' Most Stunning Songs Yet

It's the singer-songwriter's first new solo music since her 2017 debut album.

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It's been two and a half years since Phoebe Bridgers' debut album, Stranger in the Alps, but the singer-songwriter has kept herself unimaginably busy.

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Would Conor Oberst Be a Good Late-Night Production Assistant?

The Bright Eyes frontman and his fellow musician, Phoebe Bridgers, appeared in a mockumentary segment called "Meet the CONAN Staff."

"Meet The CONAN Staff": Conor Oberst - Production Assistant | Team Coco

What would happen if your favorite artist suddenly switched careers and became a production assistant on a late night talk show?

The CONAN team has given us a hint on what that strange scenario might look like. On the latest episode of "Meet the CONAN Staff"—a mockumentary series depicting behind-the-scenes shenanigans—Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst walks us through a day in the life of his new job.

"I sort of stumbled into the role of being the voice of the emo and indie rock movement," Oberst explains. "But that was just to pay the bills. Really, I wanted to break into late-night television production. I guess you could say I'm the Happy Gilmore of emo." But, like any assistant job, he faces his share of difficulties. Worst of all, he can't shake the habit of breaking out into his trademark quivering vocals: "The transition's been a little rocky. My brain is just so good at coming up with sad songs about how we're just pawns in this f--ked up game, that sometimes the lyrics just slip out."

Of course, Oberst isn't alone in his job. In this comical alternate reality, he works alongside his Better Oblivion Community Center bandmate, Phoebe Bridgers. Although Oberst's try-hard attitude gets some flack from his superiors, Bridgers naturally exudes an effortless cool factor. "Yeah, I'll probably do this for a while," Bridgers says. "But it's kind of a bullsh*t job."

Watch the clip and delight in the sad songs of late night TV below.