Runaway June Talks Upcoming Christmas Album (Exclusive)

Country trio Runaway June recently added a new member in Natalie Stovall, and the group's new iteration is already hard at work on its first new music together, an upcoming Christmas project due out this year. "I love Christmas," Stovall recently told PopCulture.com. "I am obsessed with Christmas. And so that was just the joy of my life to hear that that was basically the first thing on the docket."

Group member Naomi Cooke shared that the new project includes three classic Christmas songs and two new tracks. "I'm just so excited. We've had the chance to get really creative with it," she said. "And that's the fun part about Christmas music is that with the classic songs, people already loved them. So we really do get to just put our own spin on something that is already welcomed by a lot of people."

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Cooke added that she has been "very annoying dressing up in all of my Christmas outfits to get into the studio," which bandmate Jennifer Wayne pointed out is "exactly what you need." "You need that energy," she said. "It's like recording Christmas music in August and in July. You got to really get in. But it takes nothing to get into the Christmas spirit. It's really, really fun."

Ahead of Christmas music, Stovall's first official job as a member of Runaway June was adding fiddle to the group's single "We Were Rich," which originally appeared on the trio's 2019 debut album, Blue Roses. "It was really beautiful because that was my favorite Runaway June song," Stovall said. "So I lucked out that the very first thing that we decided to put out together with the three of us was a song that already meant a lot to me."

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"We Were Rich" is a nostalgic ode to a childhood rich in non-material things, and Cooke explained that it was "important" to her and her bandmates to give listeners a song "that would make them remember a simpler time and to remind them that there are still more good times and simpler times to be had." The band had been promoting their single "Head Over Heels" earlier this year but decided to make the switch when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

"It really matters to us to be artists and take on the responsibility to know the difference and to be like, 'Okay, this isn't... Our audience isn't connecting with this,'" Cooke said. "It's our responsibility to give them something that they can connect with that they feel connected to that helps them get through a certain time. We felt like 'We Were Rich' could do that. So, we pulled that other single, we switched them out, and it was one of the best decisions we've made."