This week, CMT’s Weekly Roundup of new hits features a quartet of holiday songs that are highlighting an ever-crowding season of uniquely festive productions.
Click here to take a listen to the following tunes.
Randy Travis – There’s A New Kid In Town (From The Vault)
The latest track to be exhumed from Randy Travis’ November 19th re-released classic Christmas album An Old Time Christmas is “There’s A New Kid In Town.” The Keith Whitley, Curly Putman, and Don Cook-written track takes a very humanizing look at the reason for the season. The song was not originally released as a part of the 1989 album, which also, notably, was certified Gold by the RIAA and is the first Christmas record Travis ever released.
Amanda Shires – Silent Night
Singer-songwriter and Highwomen member Amanda Shires has released an entire album of recreated holiday favorites. “Silent Night” takes on a darker tone in her version, as ominous minor-key piano trills introduce the production. To get a flavor of where her head was at while recording, her quote from Brooklyn Vegan when releasing the lead single from the project, “Gone For Christmas,” sums things up perfectly: “I liked the idea of the outlandish mixed with how you actually feel. We actually feel like, ‘Oh my, I’m so tired of all this s***, and I want a different scene.’ [Also], I was thinking of the ultimate Christmas list, and then at the end, I was thinking about how most of the items on it were impossible.”
Carrie Underwood – Stretchy Pants
Whether she had her own line of yoga pants or not, Carrie Underwood was likely already well aware of the desires we all have to wear loose-fitting clothing at the holiday meal table. Regarding the track — and its proceeds — she noted via a press release, “[“Stretchy Pants” is meant to] bring a lot of fun and joy to people. But I also wanted to do something good with it that would help people. I immediately thought about Brad [Paisley] and [his wife] Kim’s charity, The Store, and how we could use this song to help them and their mission to bring joy to folks that need it, especially during the holiday season. Everybody should be able to afford feasts for the holidays, and everybody should have the opportunity to break out those stretchy pants!”
Sam Williams – Snow Angels
CMT Listen Up artist Sam Williams follows up his cover of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Christmas” with an original, yearning power-ballad of a holiday-themed track, “Snow Angels.” Described via a press release as bearing “warm melodies and melancholy lyrics that recall fleeting memories,” the track was co-written by Williams alongside Hillary Lindsey, Jonny Price, and Andrew Dorff, plus produced by Paul Moak. The single continues his strong run of late, including his critically-acclaimed August-released album Glasshouse Children.
Cody Jinks – Hurricane
Fiercely independent country star Cody Jinks has released two albums today: Mercy is a solo country album, and None the Wiser, a metal album recorded with his band. The double-dose is a product of time Jinks spent in quarantine refining his songwriting skills. Though it’s noted that the albums were written at different times — the metal album includes songs penned in the early 2000s — they were recorded simultaneously, which Jinks notes via a press release, was a “very different” process. “Literally, it was being in one studio and walking next door, and going from this beautiful country song that we’re doing to just this really angry metal song, flipping a switch.” “Hurricane” is a bit of both, bearing strong resolve and a passionate, rock-styled country feel.