The coming-out rom-com Happiest Season is a classic feel-good Christmas movie — and it’s also the first LGBTQ+ holiday film produced by a major studio. Director Clea Duvall said she decided to create the movie she “always wanted to see,” and evidently, that movie is one with a soundtrack as groundbreaking as the story itself.
The film’s music was compiled by Justin Tranter, an activist, GLAAD board member, and artist who’s written songs for Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, and more. When tasked with compiling the soundtrack, Tranter wanted to highlight LGBTQ+ artists of all genres, from all backgrounds. “I was really dead set on creating something that just sounded like a classic Christmas album,” they said in an interview with WWD. “I just wanted to give you that nostalgia. This sounds and feels like a Christmas we know before, but we’re just putting queer people front and centre.”
Contributing artists include Tegan and Sara, Carlie Hanson, and Sia. Along with covers of traditional Christmas songs like “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells,” the soundtrack also includes original music penned by Tranter and performed by LGBTQ+ artists. For “Christmas Morning,” a sweet, upbeat declaration of love, Tranter worked with the singer Kennedi. “She’s a young queer woman, which is what this movie is about. And the other two I cowrote with Shea Diamond, who is a trans woman,” Tranter told WWD. “I wanted to make sure that queer women, whether they’re lesbian, bisexual, or trans, that queer women were at the heart of this.”
Here are all the festive, fresh songs you’ll hear in Happiest Season (and, very soon, on your go-to Christmas playlist).