Happy Fall-idays: This Season’s Christmas Album Releases

October is the pinnacle of all things fall. Leaves burn crimson and gold while the ubiquitous #PSL floods Instagram accounts. It’s a glorious month for sweaters, Halloween, and Christmas album releases.

Cue the groans.

A handful of singers have holiday albums debuting in October. These early album releases may be the musical equivalent of the tinsel aisle reappearance two months too soon at Target, but they’re creating a pre-holiday season musical commotion.

If you’re someone who designs elaborate light displays synchronized to music, you should probably get listening and get started now. I’ll be sticking to my “No Christmas Music Until Black Friday” rule, but when that fateful day arrives, I know exactly what I’ll be listening to.

1. Idina Menzel, Holiday Wishes 

Pre-order Idina's Christmas album here.

Pre-order Idina’s Christmas album here.

Release Date: October 14, 2014
Perfect for: Frozen and Rent fans alike.
Listen for: River, Silent Night, When You Wish Upon A Star

In between voicing one of the most popular animated film characters of the decade and starring in Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt’s If/Then on Broadway, Menzel managed to record an entire album. (You know, as one does.) She even seems to have a sense of humor about the whole ordeal. She tweeted an initial photo of the album art and then followed it with a tweet reading, “…before Halloween, isn’t that crazy?!” Maybe a little, but the world is certainly crazy for Menzel.

Pre-order Renee Fleming's Christmas album here.

Pre-order Renée Fleming’s Christmas album here.

2. Renée Fleming, Christmas in New York 

Release Date: October 14
Perfect for: NYC romantics.
Listen for: Silver Bells, Love and Hard Times, Merry Christmas Darling

Fleming is an American operatic soprano with reputation for versatility and style. Christmas in New York is her first holiday album. The list of Fleming’s collaborators is a veritable list of Who’s Who in music. Broadway favorite Kelli O’Hara will appear on the album along with jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, jazz vocalist Gregory Porter, and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Pre-order the Pentatonix Christmas album here.

Pre-order the Pentatonix Christmas album here.

3. Pentatonix, That’s Christmas to Me 

Release Date: October 21, 2014
Perfect for: Anyone “ACA-Awesome.”
Listen for: That’s Christmas to Me, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Let It Go

A cappella music has gone culturally mainstream. Chalk it up to Pitch Perfect (Pitch Perfect 2 opens in theaters May 15, 2015), NBC’s The Sing-Off, and groups such as Pentatonix. The band sings across genres, including musical theatre. (They’re featured on Scott Alan’s Live album, singing Love, Love, Love.) This isn’t their first foray into holiday music either. PTXmas was digitally released in 2012, and expanded in 2013 when two new songs were released on the Deluxe Edition.

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