Josh Rouse never had a Christmas album on his to-do list. But with a batch of appropriate songs and some guidance from Nick Lowe, he's put together The Holiday Sounds of Josh Rouse, a nine-song set coming out Nov. 1 and premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Oct. 28). "It's something I've been chipping at -- without realizing it," Rouse tells Billboard.
The Holiday Sounds accumulates songs he wrote for his family during the holidays, not so much carols as anecdotes and reflections. Several tracks are about experiencing the holidays in a different place, which Rouse did over the course of 15 years living in Spain. The idea of turning them into an album first came to Rouse during 2015, when he was touring with Lowe, who had released his own Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family two years prior.
"He told me he never wanted to do [a holiday album] either," recalls Rouse, whose children are now eight and 10 years old, "but he came up with things that were not your typical holiday songs and thought that would work. I felt the same way and I had a bunch of songs already around, so that was when the idea came up to maybe do an album."