5 songs you need to stream: A Sharon Jones Christmas tune, Mick Jenkins, and more

best songs to stream 12 23 16 temples
Fat Possum Records
Every week, there are thousands of new songs hitting the airwaves — and it’s just too much for your two ears to handle. With all those options, you can’t be wasting your time on tracks that deserve a thumbs-down click.

But don’t worry, we’re going to save you the hassle. We listen to some of the most-hyped and interesting songs each week, and tell you which are worthy of your precious listening time.

Here are our top 5 songs to stream this week. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our Spotify page for a playlist of our weekly picks, which can also be found at the bottom of this post.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings —  Please Come Home For Christmas

Recently departed soul singer Sharon Jones gives one final gift to the world this holiday season, in the form of a vintage-sounding holiday single. With all the vibes of your favorite Motown hits, Please Come Home For Christmas fits the holiday season like a well-worn glove — it’s a 6/8 blues number that will have you dancing around the tree with grandma in no time.

Amazon iTunes

Mick Jenkins featuring Kaytranada — Aurora Borealis

Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins teamed up with Canadian producer extraordinaire Kaytranada to release a new track called Aurora Borealis this week, part of a new compilation called 119 Presents: Countdown To Midnight. A simple beat underlies Jenkins’ smooth flow, with the rapper providing a round chorus of soulful doubled vocals in the middle of the almost four-minute track.

Temples — Shelter Song

Classic psych-era Beatles vibes abound on Temples’ latest single, Shelter Song, which the band recently performed live for Seattle’s KEXP radio. Punchy vocal harmonies intersect with 12-string guitar on the track, and are supported by a simple bass line and Ringo-esqe drumbeat. There’s something inherently cheery and classic going on here, with Temples providing the perfect song to blast during the snowy drive to your family’s house this Christmas.

Amazon iTunes

Grouper — I’m Clean Now

The perfect complement to the darkest days of the year comes from ambient artist Grouper, who released two new tracks this week that pair perfectly with our numerous end-of-2016 reflections. On I’m Clean Now, a myriad of beautiful sounds float right in front of you, with shimmering vocal melodies that meander like fog through a deep river valley.

Amazon iTunes

Spaceface — Cowboy Lightning

Songwriter Jake Ingalls’ Spaceface has long dabbled in the iconic psychedelic music of the 1970s, borrowing mystical sounds from the era to create groovy, layered singles that catch your ears and refuse to let go. His latest song, Cowboy Lightning, is just that — a powerful mix of old and new that uses washed-out guitar tones and funky drums to capture your attention. And don’t fret, there are many other layers to pay attention to during the requisite repeat plays.

Amazon iTunes

That’s it for now, but tune in next week for more tunes, and check out our playlist loaded with our recent selections below:

Home Theater

Mobile masters: Tidal’s better-than-CD MQA tracks come to Android

Audiophile-grade music tracks and streaming music services don't come together very often, and when they do, it's not always easy to find a device that plays them. That's no longer the case as Tidal's MQA tracks now work on Android.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

From true crime to comedy, here's our list of the best podcasts around

When you aren’t in the music mood, podcasts can be your ear candy. Whether you love to stay up-to-date on the latest news or want to know what’s happening in sports, you’ll find something on our must-listen-to podcast roundup.

Music junkie? Here are the 24 best music apps for consuming and creating tunes

We rummaged through the iOS and Android app stores to find the finest mobile music-creation and music-consumption apps in existence. No matter if you're on Android or iOS, here are the best music apps.
Home Theater

Mobile audio gets an upgrade thanks to new Sonarworks apps

Sonarworks is used by audio engineers around the world to get more accurate sound from their headphones. Today, the company launched Android and iOS apps for the same ability on mobile devices.

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.

Don't use streaming apps? Try the best free media players for your local music

Rather than using music-streaming apps, you may want something for playing your local music. Good news! There are some good alternatives. These are the best media players you can download for free on Windows.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.
Home Theater

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.

Jam out in hi-fi style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.