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Pentatonix on Their New Holiday Album & Why They’re Caroling for a Cause

It’s no secret that the Pentatonix five are at the a capella reigns of holiday music. From chart-toppers like their cover of ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Little Drummer Boy’ to the boppy chest-tapping beat behind ‘White Winter Hymnal,’ I often wonder if they can top what they’ve already produced. But 2020 is the year of surprises, and Pentatonix has somehow managed to do exactly that.

Pentatonix’s newest holiday albumWe Need A Little Christmas, features thirteen tracks comprised of both covers and originals that the band produced completely during the pandemic. Just one listen, and you’re guaranteed to be in the holiday spirit. And believe it or not, their new album isn’t the only way Pentatonix is spreading holiday cheer this year. 

On #CarolForACause

Alongside stars like Meghan Trainor, Brandy, Sofia Reyes, Andy Grammar and Brett Eldridge, Pentatonix will be caroling for a good cause in the new Instagram Reels campaign launched by Marshall’s, T.J. Maxx and HomeGoods. Anyone can participate through December 27th, and with each entry these major retailers will donate $10 to Feeding America, a value of 100 meals to families in need. 

Feeding America is an organization close to the heart of Pentatonix’s five members, especially now. “2020 has shown us all that we’re stronger together and that it’s more important than ever to give back,” they say. “We’re looking forward to doing our part to help feed people in need across the United States, and are excited to spread some holiday cheer in a safe and special way.”

Along with the thirteen flawless holiday tracks on their new album, Instagram users can enjoy watching Pentatonix’s own carol, “Deck the Halls.” It’s perfectly on-pitch – I mean, what else can you expect from these a capella superstars – but it also showcases their dedication as a group to giving back.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Pentatonix (@ptxofficial)

The band is enthused to be participating in such a ~cheery~ campaign. “It’s a great way to help give back and keep the magic of the holidays, and some of our favorite traditions, alive.” One of these ‘favorite’ traditions, I’m assuming, is recording and singing holiday music for all to hear. 

Recording their new album during the pandemic

This year, the recording process looked quite different. “We arranged each song together over Zoom, actually, and recorded everything in our own homes,” they say. That’s quite the accomplishment, and the songs are so well mastered that it’s impossible to tell that Zoom was the backdrop. 

Despite the unorthodox recording process, the group was still able to have as much fun with this album as they would any other. Pentatonix often compiles lists of songs they have yet to cover to listen to and decide upon, and this year was no different. “We put together a huge Spotify playlist of songs we hadn’t covered yet, and spent a few days listening through it to decide which ones we wanted to put on this album!” Of these classic Christmas songs, listeners can find “12 Days of Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Tell Me,” (yay Ari!!) and of course the band’s favorite track, and album’s namesake, “We Need A Little Christmas.” They felt that this holiday season especially, the song was more meaningful than ever. “We can’t think of a better year to release this song, since we’re all in need of a little holiday magic,” they say. 

Of course there are some new tracks like ‘Jingle Bell Pop,’ which I highly recommend, and a few that aren’t classic holiday songs, but certainly fit the bill, such as ‘Seasons of Love.’ (Any Rent fans out there will go crazy for this cover – it’s sick!). And then there’s ‘Thank You,’ a Christmas-themed ode to the year that 2020 has been. But I feel I should warn you that it’s soft piano and warm lyrics just might bring on the tears. But in the best way, of course. 

Finding new ways to celebrate the holidays

Around this time of year, Pentatonix is usually touring the country and spreading holiday cheer wherever they sing, but due to the pandemic, that just isn’t possible this holiday season. Yet the group is certain that they’ll be able to celebrate the holidays nonetheless, and safely. “We really miss being on the road, but it’s also been really nice to be able to be home in LA and even get our own Christmas trees to decorate.” And besides reconnecting with classic traditions, Pentatonix is excited about finding new ways to celebrate in light of the pandemic. 

“Our hope is that by putting out our new Christmas album, we’ll be spreading a lot of joy this year! We titled it We Need A Little Christmas because 2020 has been such a roller coaster, and we hope to share some solace and comfort.” They’ve got that right. This album is full of many things, but joy and Christmas spirit top the list. 

At the end of the day, though Pentatonix won’t be touring, they still have all of their listeners and fans at heart and hope that their music can spread love… virtually. “Even though we may not be performing in front of live audiences or caroling from door to door, music and [#CarolForACause] specifically, can help us all rediscover the joy of the holidays this season in a safe way.”

Top that, holiday season 2021.

Elizabeth Sander is a National Writer for Her Campus and a recent graduate from Tufts University, where she earned a BA in English and French. Elizabeth served as a Her Campus Editorial Intern for the Fall of 2020 and loved every minute. When not writing articles about all things culture and style (or the occasional personal essay), Elizabeth spends time creative writing, reading and working on flying crow pose. Next up on Elizabeth's agenda is Columbia J-School! Find her on insta @elizsander or for meals inspo @confinemnt_kitchn
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