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Phoebe Hunt Gets Festive With 'December Again' Video: Premiere

Phoebe Hunt
Evan Felts

Phoebe Hunt

"December Again" has been waiting a while to get into Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers' musical stocking.

The Nashville singer-songwriter wrote the jaunty, piano-led tune, premiering exclusively below, almost a decade ago, on an early December night when she was living in Austin and sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for her then-boyfriend's set to start at the Continental Club. "I was sitting there journaling a little and thinking about what this time of year is about and this little ditty came into my mind," Hunt tells Billboard. "I thought, 'How cute is this?!' It felt all joyful and holiday. I came up with a few verses but it really lived in my journal and in my mind. I never sang it, never showed it to anybody except once a year at a holiday party, when I'd play it and think, 'I've really got to work that up...'"

Hunt was never satisfied that the song was complete until she traveled to the Middle East and Africa during 2017 with the Music Abroad Program. After playing in Jordan the troupe made a short pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which inspired a new verse that declares "feel the glory and Hallelujah of the holy land's mysteries/Let the music sink right through ya/Sinking down until you find your peace." "All that felt like it was coming through, the universality of this time of year and how music is a thing that drives us, no matter what race, culture, religion we are," Hunt explains. "The music really channels through all of us and connects us through humanity, no matter what religion you are." Hunt tried "December Again" out while playing in Tony Trischka's holiday shows, then recorded a version of it while she and the Gatherers were making the group's upcoming album Neither One of Us Is Wrong.

"We had thrown together a last session for one of the songs I knew had to be on the album," Hunt recalls, "and the last 15 minutes of that session I said, 'Guys, will you just play this holiday song with me? We have to record that.' And they were like, 'Sure, Phoebes' and we just did two takes of it, and then last year we went back to New York to do the holiday shows with Tony again and while we were there we got to make a video for it. Here we are a year later and it's coming out. It's been a long journey but I finally have the song and the video and everything fell into place."

With "December Again" out on Dec. 6, Hunt plays to release a new holiday song every year. "That's what this time is about -- celebrating music and singing and raising our voices and bringing our light into the room with all of our heart," she says.

We'll be seeing as well as hearing plenty more from Hunt and the Gatherers around Neither One of Us Is Wrong's planned April 10 release. In addition to the music, recorded in Brooklyn and Nashville, Hunt set up the crowd-funded project as "a visual album" with a video to accompany each of the album's songs -- including the already released "Baba Vanga" and "November." "The album is about the space in between -- right and wrong, left and right, up and down. It's a visceral and experiential space and I wanted to illustrate it as well," Hunt says. "Since we recorded (the album) in 2018, this year I was driven by that (visual) part of the project and I put together an incredible team here in Nashville, like my visual art band, to really transmit this idea. I really like presenting the music like this and can't wait to get more of (the videos) out there."

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