As the weather gets chillier and December approaches, it’s the time of year to dust off the old K-pop Christmas playlist. Korean acts have been giving us special holiday songs for years, but I narrowed my ten picks to tracks released over the past five years. Some have official music videos, and some do not. Either way, all are fantastic choices for this year’s festivities!
10. f(x) – 12:25 (Wish List) (2015)
Those looking for a more electronic bent to their Christmas soundtrack will find plenty to love with 12:25‘s off-kilter charms.
9. Mamamoo – Draw & Draw & Draw (2016)
It may not be billed specifically as a Christmas song, but the gentle, jazzy nature of Draw‘s restrained performance makes it perfect for relaxing by the fire during these winter months.
8. GOT7 – Confession Song (2015)
Without the insistent sleigh bells over the top, Confession Song might have passed as a regular GOT7 comeback. But you just can’t beat sleigh bells this time of year!
7. BTOB – The Winter’s Tale (2014)
A bright, festive burst of energy from the guys, known just as much for the animal onesies in its music video as for the song itself.
6. Bom & Lee Hi – All I Want For Christmas Is You (2013)
The two YG superstars subvert Mariah Carey’s modern classic until it becomes a haunting, funereal ballad. Completely riveting.
5. Girls’ Generation TTS – Dear Santa (2015)
Though its first minute features an over-extended balladic intro, the song soon bursts into a sprightly tempo, creating the quintessential holiday party atmosphere.
4. Roy Kim – It’s Christmas Day (2014)
There is no voice better suited for Christmas time than Roy Kim’s. This simple ballad is ornamented with enough soaring instrumentation to turn the song’s chorus into a rousing, modern carol.
3. B1A4 – It’s Christmas Time (2015)
Not only one of the best k-pop Christmas songs, but one of B1A4’s best tracks overall. With its irresistibly peppy beat and sing-along chorus, it’ll take only one listen for this to be lodged permanently in your brain.
2. EXO – Miracles In December (2013)
Their entire Miracles In December mini album is my first go-to when it comes to k-pop Christmas, but no song is better than the title track’s utterly gorgeous melody. It feels like a modern Christmas classic, though it’s restrained enough to be played all year round.
1. Infinite – Lately (White Confession) (2011)
The undisputed MVP of k-pop Christmas. Lately is a perfect pop song in its own right, but coupled with this time of year, it brilliantly captures the warmth, joy and optimism of the season. Sweetune + Infinite + Christmas is a match made in heaven.