Why Hanson’s Snowed In Is the Greatest Christmas Album of All Time

By | December 22, 2017

Phoenix New Times

Yeah, Snowed In totally holds up.

As an 11-year-old girl, nothing was more important to me than three boys: Taylor, Zac, and Isaac Hanson. I was beyond the point of obsessed, so when they announced the release of a Christmas album as a follow-up to the massively successful Middle of Nowhere (yes, the record with “Mmmbop” on it), I was ecstatic. At the time, I wasn’t a big fan of Christmas music, but I had high hopes for my favorite trio.

To this day, I can still remember how it felt ripping the plastic off the CD, placing it in my Discman (it was 1997, after all), and curling up on the couch to listen to Snowed In. Almost instantly, the album became one of my favorites. I listen to it during the holidays, and I listened to it after the holidays. It became the album that my family and I would play while we decorated the Christmas tree. And to this day, 20 years later, Snowed In is still played in our household every single Christmas. Here’s why.

While “Mmmbop” displayed some of the brothers’ vocal talents, Snowed In really showcases their ability to synchronize and deliver harmonies. Throughout the entire album, their voices complement each other beautifully while taking on the Christmas classics. Granted, Zac and Isaac take on more vocal responsibilities with solos in “Little Saint Nick” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” but it’s the harmonies that bring the album to life. Hanson’s a capella version of “White Christmas” makes you wonder why they ever bothered to play instruments in the first place.

Then, there are the original songs.

Plenty of artists have attempted to write original Christmas songs, and the majority of those songs have been long forgotten, with the exception of Mariah Carey, of course. Hanson, however, made two admirable attempts on Snowed In: “At Christmas” and “Christmas Time.” They’re no “All I Want for Christmas is You,” but these are songs that will leave an impression, especially if you’re alone during the holidays. With lyrics like “Family nestled by the fire / A Christmas hope will be inspired / Loved ones by your side / You know you’ll kiss your baby goodnight,” you’ll need a few tissues to make it through.

Originals aside, they weren’t afraid to keep it classic. If you haven’t heard Hanson’s “Silent Night Medley: O Holy Night/Silent Night/O Come All Ye Faithful,“ then you might think that a medley of some of the most popular Christmas songs wouldn’t work, as each song can certainly stand on its own. But the Hanson brothers found a way to make it work, and to turn the medley into a work of art.

This song is by far my favorite on the album and brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. The medley starts off slow with “O Holy Night” and gradually builds into “Silent Night” and then “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

What makes the medley exceptional is how they transition back to the most powerful lines in “O Holy Night” (“Fall on your knees / O’ hear the angels’ voices”) three times. Each time, it becomes stronger and more powerful, with the third time marking the crescendo of the song. It is truly beautiful, and if you listen to any song on Snowed In, I recommend this one.

Back in 1997, I never would have guessed that 20 years later I would still be listening to Hanson at Christmas. But that’s the power of a great album — and the power of the greatest Christmas album of all time, Snowed In.



What the Hanson brothers are really all about

By | December 21, 2017

Time Out

On the heels of the release of their latest holiday album, Finally It’s Christmas, the Hanson brothers open up about the longevity of their musical career and more.

As my 12-year-old self rejoices at the sight of the three Hanson brothers with beers in hand sitting across from me in a downtown New York City bar (Barcade, to be precise), my current self notices that it’s particularly challenging to get a word in.

The brothers, and band mates, are aware of that: “If you have learned anything from this conversation, is that we have strong opinions,” says Taylor, 34, the second oldest, towards the end of our time together.

Referring to them as “strong opinions” is a bit of an understatement. Often speaking over each other and at times even disagreeing (who could ever expect three distinct individuals to agree on everything?), the musicians boast the sort of passion and intensity that only people entirely sure of their place in the universe, let alone in the current musical landscape, can truly harness. Take youngest brother Zac’s, 32, thoughts about being asked to perform the 20-year-old hit that propelled them to fame at the ages of 12, 14 and 17—“MMMBop”—at every concert for over two decades: “I like to play ‘MMMBop’ as much as I like to play any other song,” he says, joining the conversation a few minutes late because engrossed in a vivid The Simpsons video game. “The only time I don’t like to play [it] is [in] some situation that it’s taken out of context.” Now men, all three brothers steadfastly oppose being referred to only as a ’90s boy band. “When your history is taken completely out of context,” continues Zac, “It’s extraordinarily annoying.”

Taylor, who echoes Zac’s sentiment, acknowledges that there’s a business aspect that needs to be taken into account as well. They are, after all, the owners of their own independent record label, 3CG Records, which they started in 2003 after a falling out over their second studio release with their original label. “The other thing to keep in mind is our role in our own career,” says Taylor. “To get an understanding of us and how we’ve done things, you have to basically recognize that we’re thinking of ourselves as a business, as entrepreneurs and saying ‘The band Hanson needs to move past ‘MMMBop’ to succeed,’ so in that sense you’re always pushing to increase the story, to extend the story, to grow the story. You never want to be only referencing X, right? You want X, Y and Z.”

Said growth doesn’t often get the recognition that the band’s steady career most certainly deserves. After releasing their first album, Middle of Nowhere, back in 1997, the guys have dropped new music every few years. Even more recognition-worthy than the longevity of their act is the currentness of their entire musical repertoire. Play songs like “Weird” (1997), “This Time Around” (2000) and “Already Home” (2013) today and be amazed at how of-the-time they still sound. The band’s consistency is obvious in their output, their genre and their tone: Live or recorded, their voices never crack and all three brothers are perennially on pitch, even while playing a variety of instruments.

“When we did the 10th anniversary acoustic recording of Middle of Nowhere,” recalls oldest brother Isaac, 37, “after we were done mixing, I said: ‘I’m kind of stating the elephant in the room but this is crazy to me, we’re playing these songs and most of them feel like they could be on our current record.” The only difference 25 years in? Their gone-through-puberty voices.

Hanson
Photograph: Rebecca Sarkar

Other than their distinctive sound—a very specific fusion of pop and rock with a dab of soul mixed in as well (“For better or worse, we’re very isolated creatively,” says Zac. “I don’t know of any band that sounds like us.”)—what has historically (yes, 25 years constitute a history) defined the band’s career in the eyes of the public is the utter lack of any sort of drama or scandal between the brothers. When pointing the fact out, they nod in tacit agreement and mention their shared goals as the basis of their out-of-ordinary-in-Hollywood wholesomeness.

“When you look at our band, the reason why you don’t see a drug problem or a womanizing, he-went-with-that-girl-and-now-he’s-with-this-model [news story] is because the goals are just different,” says Zac. But is that true? I bet the likes of Justin Bieber and Britney Spears had similar goals in mind when starting out. When, and how, does a celebrity stray off course and forgets to rely on wholesome goals as anchors to a drama-less career? “I really do think that more than a lot of other artists, we have had the value of time show us that few of the distractions will create more personal benefits than the pursuit of the craft,” continues Zac. “In my case, when we started the band I was too young to care about women for many years. By the time we had our first record, I was the age of someone probably having their first girlfriend. But I had already spent several years making albums, writing songs, touring around and you see so much of what everyone cares about is going away.”

Of course, a diligent commitment to values and ethics, especially when genetically shared, is somehow rooted in family life as well. “Not being excessively distracted by fame and popularity has to do with the fact that one of the challenges our parents never had was looking at us and saying ‘Be confident in who you are and go for it. If you got the skill set and you are willing to work for it, we got your back 100 percent’,” says Isaac. “I give kudos to my parents, I think there are lots of things we have struggled with as human beings but our parents always treated us with dignity and respect and encouraged us to take risks and be responsible for the choices we make.”

Lest we get too philosophical about the concept of fame, Taylor—who is clearly the most press-conscious of the three, checking his watch and trying to stop his brothers from over-answering each question, a habit shared by all bandmates, including Taylor himself—stops Isaac after a few minutes: “I think you should let her get another question in.”

Next up: Their relationship with each other and with their other four siblings (Jessica, Avery, Mac and Zoe). “What’s extraordinary about our relationship is not that we don’t fight, it’s that we fight three times a day like it’s breakfast lunch and dinner and we’re ready for it,” says Zac about the dynamics within the trio. “Do we want to kill each other? Yes, absolutely! I am certain that they have both planned my death at times and at times I planned theirs. It’s an unfortunate side effect of human nature to be self-centered and so one day you just walk in and you say something stupid that makes you feel better and it crushes the work that the other guy did.” As for the rest of the siblings, all younger than the bandmates: “[The relationship with the others] is really, really good but because of what we’ve done, it’s not necessarily that [us three are] closer [but] we know each other in a way that nobody should ever know each other,” says Taylor.

As the happy hour crowd parks into Barcade and the sound effects of the tons of video games surrounding us become almost unbearably loud, it’s time for one last topic of conversation. I dare ask: Given the music industry’s recent push for diversity, do they think that three white, undeniably good looking brothers could be successful releasing the sort of music that they have been producing for the past 25 years if they had started out in today’s cultural atmosphere?

Without missing a beat, Taylor demands to be the one to answer: “Let me just pause for a second, let me just take this in. Ask yourself where that question is coming from,” he says, effectively tossing me in the kind of situation at first loathed (Did I say something untrue?) and then treasured by the average reporter.

“Ever since we began, we have sort of been singled out as being […] wholesome. For one, that whole perspective is really not looking at what we are,” Taylor explains. “We are really more like the guys you are probably friends with, real people that have foundational moral codes and character that you’d probably go have a beer with. We just grew up with those same ideas and also a drive to create music and got famous doing it. You’re commenting from a good place in your heart,” he says while I breathe a sigh of relief at the thought of not having antagonized the subjects of my story. “[You] said that the fact that the world has marginalized being black or red or green makes me want to look at three white guys and say how do you feel about being three white guys in 2017? Think about how weird that is! The thing that we’re all afraid of has turned into the question. I will say this: We have always been personally seeking our own purpose though music, a moral to the story: What’s going to happen? How am I going to get through it? I think that story is what or community is about, what our music is about. It’s not about whitewashing things. There’s a problem and I want to go through it so I feel more proud and more confident and more excited about the future, about who we’ve been, because I think the world is really hungry, really lonely, really afraid and I’m so proud to be a 6-foot-2 white, American man because the opportunity that each of us have is to set an example with our choices [and] our actions.”

Taking a deep breath, he concludes: “By the way, this is the second time today that question has been asked of us.” Which, in a way, confirms the source of my initial query: I was clearly onto something. It suddenly occurs to me that the flair and passion with which the bandmates responded to my question had nothing to do with potentially getting offended and had everything to do with that wholesomeness of character and hopefulness in humanity that we spent so much time discussing. The Hanson brothers are just as pure of thought as they have appeared to be over 25 years: Nothing about them is an act—which, in a world now dominated by flamboyancy lambasted across all sorts of mediums, is a refreshingly hopeful character trait.



Finally It’s Christmas Special Now on YouTube

By | December 21, 2017


WEEKLY PIC

Isaac, Taylor and Zac hosting Finally It’s Christmas YouTube Livestream


FINALLY IT’S CHRISTMAS RE-STREAM

Finally It’s Christmas Stream, Re-Posted (Just in Time For Christmas)

Last night was officially our last concert of 2017, performing for some of our fav fans in Milwaukee (taking it all the way back to MON). We have been just about everywhere this year and we had an amazing time wrapping up the year’s shows with a show that mixed in HANSON catalog songs and a sprinkle of Christmas cheer.

Last week we invited fans from around the world to celebrate Christmas and an amazing 2017 with the Finally It’s Christmas Special, livestreamed with our friends at YouTube Music. The stream was a blast to put on and we were thrilled to hear from so many of you from all corners of the globe who asked questions, posted pics and gave us your input on our burning Christmas Holiday questions.

Now just in time for Christmas we are posting the FULL Livestream for your viewing and re-viewing pleasure on the HANSON YouTube page just in time for your Christmas vacation. Wherever you are, we hope you have an amazing Christmas with friends and family reflecting on the things that matter most…while watching the Finally It’s Christmas Special on Loop!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Isaac, Taylor and Zac



My First Hanson Day: Sara

By | December 21, 2017

This year was also Sara’s first Hanson Day.  She traveled from NJ solo but met up with some Hanson Day veteran friends once arriving in Tulsa.

Sara thought that with it being the 20th anniversary of Middle of Nowhere, this year would be a good time to attend.  No one ever knows what the next year will bring, so she definitely wanted to try and get this year in, in case she decided to start a family later this year or next year.

Before attending, Sara was most looking forward to all of the events! But if she had to choose, it would have been the lectures.

 



Why Hanson Are Fine That People Pulled The Pin On Them After MMMBop

By | December 21, 2017

Pedestrian

Why Hanson Are Fine That People Pulled The Pin On Them After MMMBop



Hanson’s Mmmhops and 14 other beers brewed for (or by) musicians

By | December 21, 2017

Milwaukee Record

There are currently more breweries and more beers than ever before. As a result of the unprecedented growth the industry has experienced, more brewers are crafting new beer at a staggering rate, and the lines between hop hobbyist and master brewer are blurring more with each new beer’s release. Similarly, there are more musicians putting out more music than ever before and they’re all vying for listener attention on more platforms than ever before. Occasionally, that shared saturation of sudsy and sonic output results in beers that are brewed for musicians.

How prevalent has it become? Well, between Wednesday and New Year’s Eve, Milwaukee will host two different bands with a beer made in their honor. Before the “Mmmhops” inventors in Hanson play at Riverside Theater on December 20 and Wisconsin’s own Horseshoes & Hand Grenades play their brand of bluegrass that’s befitting of a Central Waters beer at Pabst Theater on December 31, Milwaukee Record found more than 15 instances of tap lists and playlists coming together.

12. Mmmhops (Hanson)
As mentioned above, the boys in Hanson have grown up to become bonifide beer aficionados. In early 2013, the sibling songwriting trio responsible for “MMMBop” joined up with Mustang Brewing in Hanson’s home state of Oklahoma to brew “Mmmhops.” The American Pale Ale is actually pretty good. Don’t believe us? Here’s what a Master Brewer thought about it. Unfortunately, you can only get it throughout Oklahoma and just 11 other spots in the country.

 



Hanson: ‘We won’t be buying each other gifts!’

By | December 21, 2017

CelebsNow

At Now HQ there’s one thing we’ve heard quite enough of – all this ‘oh Hanson, are they back?’ Guys, c’mon – they never went away!

Ok, perhaps we’re too invested in them, after all, we’re potentially their biggest fans. Regardless, the three brothers from Tulsa, Oklahoma, are well…back, on the airways that is. The release of the new album and single Finally It’s Christmas comes at the end of a very eventful year for the now-not-so-blonde brothers.

image: https://keyassets-p2.timeincuk.net/wp/prod/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/12/Hanson1.jpg

Photo: Jiro Schneider

2017 has marked their 25 years as a band and the 20th anniversary of MMMBop. You’d think that having been in the business for more than two decades – notching up Grammy nominations and more than 16 million record sales – might mean the trio had seen it all, done it all. But, back on the road with a short Christmas tour for the new album it seems that there are still some new challenges…

‘We almost exclusively have never played these songs in front of an audience,’ explains Isaac, 37. ‘It’s important to have firsts as when you’re 25 years into something as I think the risk would be you get into a stagnant pattern where everything is old hat.’

Our exclusive chat with the brothers comes just as they land in LAX for the final of two US dates, before making their way to Manchester.

Isaac is as friendly as ever (duh!) – although phone signal does mean we get cut off less than half way through, he promptly calls back apologising. ‘It’s LA,’ he laughs.

Undeterred by our technical difficulties, we push on, asking the all-important question: Finally It’s Christmas, or Snowed In? For those unsure what that latter is, you might (hopefully not) be surprised to hear that the brothers are no strangers to Christmas albums.

image: https://keyassets-p2.timeincuk.net/wp/prod/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/12/Hanson.jpg

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Charles Sykes/REX/Shutterstock (278219e)

Snowed In was their second studio album, released in 1998 and is full of festive sparkle. But Isaac, understandably, seems torn. ‘Well, they’re different records,’ he says. ‘Snowed In is a bit more upbeat. In part because some of the covers we picked were just a little bit more peppy. The three original songs on the new record are more upbeat than some of the covers, because we needed a little bit of that extra tempo for the record.’

The covers he’s referring to include All I Want For Christmas Is You and Wonderful Christmas Time (yes, we did ask, and no, they didn’t need to get Mariah Carey and Sir Paul McCartney on the phone to ask permission) but not as you know them. ‘Yeah,’ says Isaac. ‘We really changed up Sir Paul’s, that’s really different.’

Releasing a Christmas album must surely mean they love the festive season.

So, despite now all being well into their 30s (sorry, guys) are they big kids when it comes to the holiday? ‘Oh of course’ says Isaac.

‘I think the great thing about Christmas is it gives everyone a licence to be less self-conscious. I think especially in the entertainment business, people find themselves very self-preoccupied. Hanson can be very serious at times but we’re rarely self-conscious.’

Makes sense – especially when Isaac confesses they’re all partial to wearing matching pyjamas on the 25th.

image: https://keyassets-p2.timeincuk.net/wp/prod/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/12/Hanson-2.jpg

‘In individual families [Isaac has three kids, Taylor, five and Zac, three] there are often matching pyjama type situations. Let’s face it, if you can stay in the Christmas zone of not having to get overly dressed up you’re ok with it.’

But, besides the ensembles, what else does a Hanson Christmas look like? ‘Traditionally we’ll go to church either on Christmas Eve night or Christmas morning, sometimes both,’ says Isaac.

‘Then of course opening gifts and spending time with our immediate family – our kids, our wives and so on. Then in the afternoon we get together with our parents and brothers and sisters [they’re three of seven, yes, seven] and it gets into a whole other level of crazy – especially when you get ALL of the cousins together…’

And it seems – like most families on Christmas Day – the Hansons can get a little competitive.

‘We play a lot of Pictionary, but one of our favourites is Catchphrase,’ says Isaac. ‘You pass around a little electronic thing with a buzzer. There’s Team A and Team B and we’re a rambunctious group so it gets really loud. We all get into it.’

Of course, we’re desperate to know what’s on the brothers’ wish list this year. Isaac confesses some Lego would go down a treat. ‘

If it involves Lego and sitting around for hours building it, then I’m happy,’ he says. But also, rather conversely, he also wouldn’t mind a pipe. ‘I’m an old guy like that, he says. ‘Always have been.’ But he’ll have to hope Santa is putting that under the tree because the brothers no longer buy gifts for each other. ‘We stopped,’ Isaac admits.

image: https://keyassets-p2.timeincuk.net/wp/prod/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/12/HANSON-FINAL-1-1-630×473.jpg

‘There are so many family members, we do our individual family Christmases and then we do a more extensive get together and just kind of make it more like a family gathering for a few days and make it easy.

Thankfully though, they’ve not given up on one Christmas tradition – the festive film. ‘My favourites are Home Alone, Die Hard, The Family Stone, White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life,’ says Isaac. 10/10 choices, we agree.

After covering Christmas food – Isaac says there’s turkey, stuffing, sweet potato and salads (though no mention of Brussel Sprouts) – we can’t let him go without asking about his Grace Unknown  podcast, which is all about being grateful.

‘There are lots of challenges and lots of ups and downs in life but we’ve all got a lot of things that we should be grateful for,’ Isaac explains. ‘It’s important to acknowledge the everyday miracles and everyday things that are easily overlooked, and maybe make the world a better place starting first and foremost with yourself.’

Now, that’s Christmas spirit at its finest, wouldn’t you say?

Finally It’s Christmas is out now

Read more at http://www.celebsnow.co.uk/celebrity-news/hanson-we-wont-be-buying-each-other-gifts-717348#1gscSdcb0PeM1thQ.99



Hanson For The Holidays

By | December 21, 2017

NPR

We’ve been recording Tiny Desk concerts for nearly a decade, and in that time, a few artists have come back for encores — folks like Wilco, Chris Thile and the inspiration for the series, Laura Gibson. One band, The Oh Hellos, came back after a year to favor us with a holiday set. But we’ve never, until now, asked anyone to return later the same day.

Back in September, we brought in Hanson to play a set of old and new songs, in honor of a new career anthology called Middle of Everywhere. But, since Hanson has also just released a holiday album called Finally It’s Christmas, Bob Boilen — our own right-jolly old elf — sprung on everyone the idea of taking an hour off between sets and bringing Ike, Taylor and Zac Hanson back for a wintery encore. Which means, as you’ll see here, everything from frantic time-lapse set decoration to an intrusive snow machine.

As for the music itself, the Hanson brothers kicked off their second set of the day with a pair of rollicking originals before standing around a single mic for an a cappella mashup of “Joy To The World” and “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” All three songs are from Finally It’s Christmas, which Hanson released to roughly coincide with the 20th anniversary of its million-selling holiday favorite Snowed In. So sit back, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa — or, if you prefer, boozy egg nog — and soak up a raucous and reverent Christmas party.

From everyone at the Tiny Desk, we hope you enjoy your holidays as much as our standing-room-only crowd enjoyed watching Zac and Taylor Hanson borrow a pair of the ugliest Christmas sweaters imaginable. (Yes, Virginia, that is a vomiting unicorn.)

Set List

  • “Finally It’s Christmas”
  • “‘Til New Years Night”
  • “Joy To The Mountain”

Musicians

Isaac Hanson (vocals, guitar), Taylor Hanson (vocals, piano), Zac Hanson (vocals, percussion)

Credits

Producers: Stephen Thompson, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kara Frame, Nicholas Garbaty, Alyse Young; Animation: CJ Riculan; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Christina Ascani/NPR.



Tuesday Trivia

By | December 19, 2017

TuesdayTrivia

Isaac is the Hanson who would like to try acting.

What musical milestone would Isaac like to see happen again?



Do you have a Hanson trivia question you'd like to submit for consideration for our Tuesday Trivia question?  Send the question & answer to blog@hansonstage.com

The Hanson Brothers Break Down Every Track on Their Nostalgic Holiday Album

By | December 15, 2017

marie claire

Because it’s been a long year, and frankly we deserve something good.

n 2017, Hanson celebrated its 25th year as a band and the 20th anniversary of its debut album, Middle of Nowhere. Even if you haven’t heard any of their five subsequent studio albums (or seen one of their 14 official tours since 1997), they live on in the hearts, ears (damn you, “Mmmbop”), and Christmas CD collections of anyone who came of age in the late ’90s and early ’00s.

And while some bands might bristle at playing the 20-year-old hits that made them famous, the brothers have embraced that nostalgia factor and used it to their advantage. “We never avoid any of the old stuff. It’s a very important part of who we are and something that we’re very proud of,” Isaac Hanson, the eldest of the musician brothers, tells MarieClaire.com of their latest tour. “I feel really lucky that in spite of the fact that we were very young—young musicians, young songwriters, young artists—we’ve managed to be very, very proud of everything we’ve done.”

Hanson just wrapped its Middle of Everywhere tour (get it?)—which spanned the globe and featured “Mmmbop” as well as other TRL chart-toppers—and then hopped on anothermini-tour promoting their latest release, Finally It’s Christmas.

They recorded the album in 2016, and despite the fact that they’re two decades older (and their voices are a few octaves lower), Hanson says Finally It’s Christmas is a spiritual follow-up to their two-million-selling 1997 holiday classic Snowed In.

“Some of the voices are really noticeably different—like Zac’s voice is really noticeably different, my voice less so,” Hanson says. “You have some of those inevitable things, but we were trying as best as we could to say to ourselves, ‘If this is chapter two in a book, it’s got to feel as connected to the first one as we can without feeling like we’re repeating ourselves.'”

Below, Hanson takes us behind-the-scenes in a track-by-track journey through the new album. Bye Santa, no other gifts needed.

1. “Finally It’s Christmas”

The title track—which the band released on their website a few years ago—is actually what inspired the album itself. “We were like, ‘This is really cool. We’ll put this out on the website as a special release along with some Christmas products and stuff like that, just for the fun of it,'” Isaac says. “And then when we listened back to it, we were like, ‘This really feels very connected to Snowed In. It feels like it makes a lot of sense with what we did on it 20 years ago.'” YOU’RE RIGHT, HANSON, IT DOES.

2. “A Wonderful Christmas Time”

Yes, it’s a cover of the Paul McCartney Christmas classic, and no, it almost didn’t make it on the album. “We were still looking for a more upbeat song, something that felt familiar, but we felt like the original version was just not something that we were going to be able to put our stamp on,” Isaac says.

But once the trio added a Motown drumbeat and a new chorus, it became their own. “It lent itself to some reinterpretation and we wrote a new section for it to give it even more of a lift, even more of a chorus, because the song really doesn’t have a chorus. It very much feels like an original song in a certain sense because we really took a lot of liberties, but I think it doesn’t betray the original version at all. I just think it’s a very different version than anyone’s done.”

Please take note, Paul.

3. “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”

The adorable children you hear singing a snippet of this Christmas classic? Yes, they’re the brothers’ offspring (they have twelve between them)—and the decision to include them is actually a shoutout to the Hansons’ youngest brother Mac being featured on Snowed In. “We said, ‘What if we just sat around and sang some of those classic sing-along type songs with the kids and see what happens?'” Hanson explains. “And so we set up some mics and we brought in all the kids and we said, ‘Okay, let’s sing ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.’ Here we go.'”

4. “Til New Years Night”

Isaac’s description for this Chuck Berry-inspired song is basically perfection. Behold: “The song is about what happens between Christmas and New Year on the North Pole, because that’s apparently the time when all of the elves and Santa let loose because they’ve been working all year until that point.”

5. “Please Come Home”

Another cover, with a Hanson twist: “It’s a great, classic, old school, rock-and-roll Christmas song. It’s mostly a love song. It’s not really a Christmas-y song, it’s just mostly that it’s in context of Christmas. I think Charles Brown would feel good about our rendition.”

6. “Someday At Christmas”

“This is one of the real standouts for me,” Isaac says of the Stevie Wonder cover. “We took a little bit more of a melancholy approach than some people have in the past, and it’s a little bit more orchestral feeling. We use a lot of sweeping background vocals and I feel like it hits a good emotional tone.”

File under: That feeling when you find yourself crying to Hanson Christmas music.

7. “Joy To The Mountain”

This mashup of “Joy to the World” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain” came about when the brothers wanted to combine two traditional Christmas sounds. “It would not be Christmas without some traditional Church hymns,” Isaac said. “And we felt like one of the best ways to represent that was not only to use a more traditional Christmas song that goes back centuries…but also a song that represents a different stage of Christmas music, which is that gospel-inspired Christmas music.”

8. “Jingle Bells”

This is basically the Hansons’ embracing their dad vibes, hence the inclusion of all their kids: “We’re dads. We’re dads and uncles, and it’s kind of fun to have that contextual reference as well.”

9. “Happy Christmas”

Keeping with tradition, this song features Taylor’s oldest son Ezra: “That high octave that’s being played is actually being played by Ezra, which is kind of wild and fun because Ezra’s about the age that Taylor when we made our first Christmas record, which is super bizarre.”

10. “All I Want For Christmas”

“This ain’t Mariah Carey’s version,” Isaac says. “That’s all I have to say about that.”

11. “Winter Wonderland”

“‘Winter Wonderland’ is one of my standout favorites on the record. I think what we tried to do was reinterpret the version that Aretha Franklin did,” Isaac says. “She changes up the melody a little bit and we really really liked that and liked the vibe of what she had done, but her version is mellow.”

12. “Blue Christmas”

The making of this song was pretty interesting, and the final version was completely different than how it was originally recorded: “It was actually an accident. We were listening back to Taylor’s vocal performance and wanted to get rid off some of the stuff around it to make sure that we felt great about his vocal take. We went, ‘Wait a second. That’s really cool. What if we started it this way and then slowly build in?'” Et, voila!

13. “Peace On Earth”

This song directly speaks to the “spiritual and religious components of Christmas, which is the origin of the Christmas season,” Isaac says, explaining that this is an “important part of our own lives, and so it had to be in there and I feel like this song has a very epic quality to it.”

14. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Yes, it’s one of the saddest Christmas songs ever—and Hanson leaned into that for their closing track. “I think our version is probably on the sadder side of versions of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’ It’s very melancholy, but I really had a lot of fun singing it and we had a lot of fun putting it together,” Isaac says. “I mean, people like Bing Crosby and Perry Como are just Christmas to me. I hear those Christmas records and I’m instantly back with misty eyes. It was really fun to be able to sit right in front of a mic real close and sing it low and slow and earnest.”

Finally It’s Christmas is available now. Listen below.