On Their New Christmas Album, The Tenors Are Out to Warm the Coldest, Deadest of Hearts

This festive season, The Tenors are on a mission to win over Ebenezer Scrooges and Grinches alike. “During our Christmas tour, we know that there’s always somebody in the audience who got dragged to our show,” singer Clifton Murray admits. But Murray and his bandmates, Victor Micallef and Fraser Walters, have faith that a heartfelt holiday song can win over the most embittered of souls. “We celebrate when we see that smile from the stage and know that we’ve earned another fan with our Christmas material,” he says. The Tenors’ sales figures speak to their knack for spreading cheer: the band’s 2010 Christmas record, Perfect Gift, went triple platinum. This year’s follow-up, Christmas Together, features more of the reverent hymns the group perfected as kids in their church choirs. “Growing up as a singer, Christmas is sort of your calling,” says Walters. “Singing ‘Oh Holy Night’ became tradition.”

Alongside the fresh arrangements of familiar classics are two original compositions: “When We Are Together” and “Santa’s Wish.” For all of their enthusiasm for this time of year, The Tenors confess that coming up with songs that can hold their own against the likes of “Little Drummer Boy” is still a daunting task. “It’s like capturing lightning in a bottle,” Murray says. The trick, he’s learned, is to write something that channels the warm, playful atmosphere of a family gathering. For Murray, that means his mom’s annual potluck parties, which always break into raucous carolling. “Christmas is such a powerful time,” Micallef adds. “People feel like they want to be unified with others.”

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Another key consideration when recording a holiday track: ensuring it can be put on a loop in department stores across the country. “If it sounds fun, energetic, and makes you smile right from the get go,” Murray says, “then you can play it over and over.”