When Jamie O’Neal started recording her first Christmas album in July 2021, she already had a mix of original holiday songs and classics. Originally scheduled for Christmas 2021, everything was put on hold when O’Neal lost his sister, Samantha Murphy, in August 2021. Later, revisiting the holiday songs, O’Neal has released three songs now, with the full album. You were christmas to me (BFD / The Orchard) in 2022.
“I didn’t want to have to wait until 2022 for the album to come out, so I asked the label if we could release a few songs,” says O’Neal. “We released a few songs just to let people know what was coming.”
Produced by O’Neal and her husband Rodney Good, the album was written in the summer of 2021. Co-written with Corey Lee Barker is the upbeat country vocals of “Christmas You” –Come on darling it’s mistletoe hour / You light the fire and I pour the wine / Let’s make a moment that we can blend in / Because I love you this Christmas—Through his interpretation of the Irving Berlin classic “White christmas, ”In memory of her late sister, with a moving performance by Joni Mitchell Blue track, “River”.
“’Christmas You’ is fun, upbeat and a bit jazzy,” says O’Neal. “There is also a little jazz touch in ‘White Christmas’.”
Working with Barker, whom O’Neal calls “Mr. Christmas,” helped her soak up the holiday spirit while writing. “He writes so many Christmas carols,” says O’Neal. “That’s his favorite thing to do, and he really has this great spirit that it’s so fun to write with, because he’s not afraid to say anything, and nothing is off limits in that. which concerns Christmas references. “
A sequel to O’Neal’s fourth album Occasionally—A celebration of the 20th anniversary of its debut Thrill, which includes a reimagined version of her hit, “There Is No Arizona 2.0”, with Lauren Alaina and the new track “Someone’s Sometimes”, with John Paul White as well as other duets with Sara Evans, Martina McBride and daughter of O’Neal Aliyah Good — Christmas carols set the stage for 2022 and will follow more original music released next summer.
“I can’t wait to release my full Christmas album in 2022,” says O’Neal. “The album also features original and fun Christmas carols and classics we all know and love to hear every year.”
The upcoming album features songs scrolling through varied feelings and locations, including a more upbeat track about being in the Gulf of Mexico over Christmas time. The title track is more personal for O’Neal, about the loss of a loved one and carrying on the traditions you once shared with them.
“It’s a variety of emotions,” says O’Neal. “These are classics, and then there are more poignant and melancholic songs. I’ve always been drawn to songs like this because of the Christmas feeling and stuff like that, so that’s what I wanted to do with this album.
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