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9 New Grooves for Your Holiday Party Playlist

9 New Grooves for Your Holiday Party Playlist

Searching for the soundtrack to an otherwise perfectly planned cocktail party? When the same old holiday songs won’t do, curate a fresh, modern feel for your gathering. The season is about sharing good times and emotional connections, after all, and these tracks get it done, blending evocative, sometimes bittersweet arrangements with plenty of guest-pleasing groove.

D’Angelo, “Really Love”

The finger-picked, whispery intro builds a low-lit mood as you serve the first cocktails of the evening. A subtle drum entrance will have guests tapping their toes without even realizing.

Lianne La Havas, “Unstoppable”

Dreamy harp runs give way to an uplifting chorus, energizing guests to mingle and converse.

Julia Holter, “Feel You”

Structured yet stream-of-consciousness, the instrumentation and vocals in this track create space for ideas and experiences to be shared.

The xx, “On Hold”

Processed, chopped-up vocals are all the rage right now, and this track delivers nuanced editing on top of a danceable, if melancholic, backdrop.

Rihanna, “Higher”

A powerful vocal delivery over a lush arrangement just might lead to some tipsy catharsis.

Local Natives, “Coins”

Nod in approval at the emotional vocal, sway to the evocative chorus strings, or just step to the simply and expertly delivered drums.

Nicolas Jaar, “Leaves”

Atmospheric and textural, a couple of nice ambient transitions such as this track can be the glue that makes your playlist really work.

Solange, “Cranes in the Sky”

Vocals and bass weave effortlessly across a canvas of flawless drums and strings. The lyrics may remind us that life’s problems aren’t easily forgotten or ignored, but the song is ultimately a positive reflection of love that fits the season.

Francis and the Lights featuring Bon Iver, “Friends”

Snap along, clink your glasses and share some laughs. The big beat and pulsing synths are groovy and get you moving, and the song also tugs at the heartstrings.

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