A dotCommonweal reader with great taste (redundant, I realize) recommended Sufjan Stevens's new collection, Songs for Christmas, in John McGreevy's Sufjan post a couple of weeks ago. (The article he links to in Books and Culture is, I think, way off the mark.)
I was able to snag a promotional copy of the five-disc set, which contains a sample of the forty-odd Christmas songs Stevens has recorded over the last six Advents (save 2004), and it didn't take more than fifteen minutes of listening to realize I needed to order the full set stat. Stevens's label, Asthmatic Kitty, is hosting a stream of the whole thing here. You can buy a hard copy from them directly, via Amazon, or on iTunes, which just lowered the price on the set by about five bucks --about time, too. The iTunes price was the same as the physical media, which, as you'll see if you click over to the streaming page, contains lots of fun stuff that just can't be downloaded.
But for those of you who'd rather get a quick fix now, here are a few links that will take you to mp3 files of some of the best tracks on the new set.
"Holy, Holy, Holy"--click here.
"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"--click here.
"Joy to the World"--click here.
"What Child Is This, Anyway?"--click here.
"Once in Royal David's City"--click here.
And for a few Sufjan-penned songs off the beaten path:
"Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time!"--click here.
"Sister Winter"--click here.
"Get Behind Me, Santa!"--click here.
And--really, this is it (for now)--here's a bonus animated video for his "Put the Lights on the Tree," thanks to the magic of YouTube.