Multi-awarding winner Canadian country group Hunter Brothers have released their debut Christmas album, Joy to the World.
Out now, the nine-track collection features their take on seven holiday favorites and two brand-new originals, “What I See” and “Christmas Is Coming Again.” The effervescent up-tempo tracks such as “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” and “Christmas Is Coming Again” showcase their real-life brothers’ harmonies, while the ruminative yet powerful “O Holy Night” shows off their vocal range and offers a pathway for listeners to ponder on the reason for the season. Throughout the set, Hunter Brothers also balance trading solo runs, spotlighting their signature harmonies, and delivering emotionally-rich performances. It’s no easy feat to accomplish especially on a Christmas LP, but the group pulls it off flawlessly.
Sounds Like Nashville chatted with Hunter Brothers’ J.J., Dusty, Luke, Brock and Ty for an exclusive Q&A about their new record, penning original holiday songs, festive traditions at home, and what wacky items sit at the top of their Christmas wishlist this year. Check it out below!
What was the vision or theme y’all had in mind for your debut Christmas album, ‘Joy To The World’?
The title track really sums it up – Joy To The World is really what we want to represent as a band. Spreading joy is really important in the times we are living in. What better way than to do that with a Christmas Album? We have also been asked to do a Christmas record by many people for many years, so we felt this year was the perfect opportunity!
How did you guys decide on which holiday classics to cover?
I believe we all made a list of our top songs as individuals, and then brought them to the table for a wider discussion with our producers. We talked about which songs we felt best represented us as a group!
Y’all collaborated with rising country singer/songwriter Madeline Merlo on the beautiful “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” How did that come about?
Interestingly enough, we did a Holiday Special with fellow artists last year from our record label. (Open Road Recordings) Madeline sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” on the livestream, and we absolutely loved it. When heading into the new year, we really wanted to collaborate with a fellow artist on our Christmas project, and it was a quick decision as to who our preference would be and what song because of her flawless performance of the song. We are so thankful she said yes!!
The record has two new originals, with the jubilant “What I See” being one of them. What’s the inspiration behind writing this song?
“What I See” is easily one of our favorite tracks on the project. Dustin Bird, another fellow artist from our label and I (Ty) had written together a few times, and so he had a good idea of what type of songs I gravitate to. He pitched me the first part of the song, saying “I think this would work well with your voice”. I listened to it, fell in love with it, and brought it to the brothers. They loved it too, so we jumped on a writing session with our producer Seth Mosley, and finished writing/recording the song to make it what it is today! We hope you love it as much as we do!
What was Christmas Day typically like in the Hunter household growing up?
Christmas day was one of our favorite days of the year. I think it’s fair in saying all of us ALWAYS looked forward to it. It was the one day of the year we could fully take a break from the responsibilities of the world, and be with each other. It started with opening stockings under the tree. We followed that up with mom’s fresh homemade cinnamon buns, and a reading of the Christmas story. We would then open presents one by one in a circle until all the gifts were unwrapped, and eat a spread of appetizers in the evening. There were also lots of puzzles always on the run!
J.J., Dusty, Luke, Brock and Ty: what’s at the top of each of your Christmas lists this year?
Ty: Concert tickets. I want to go watch shows after the last two years. (And a new lululemon jacket for running outside in the winter)
Brock: A new Lancair Evolution airplane! Just kidding, a nice new pair of red Saxx underwear!
Luke: New Workout Equipment.
Dusty: The Edmonton Oilers To Win The Cup.
J.J.: Sorrel Boots and Icy Squares.
Lastly, and maybe this is highly debatable, but a Christmas meal is never complete without ……
Steak, Caesar Salad, Homemade Buns.
Get your copy of Hunter Brothers’ new Christmas album Joy to the World here.