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Pentatonix sings Christmas -- again, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2020

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Pentatonix is inseparable from the holidays -- at least as far as music is concerned.

The a cappella quintet's latest album, "We Need a Little Christmas," is its fifth Yuletide release. The set was recorded remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and features favorites such as "White Christmas," "The 12 Days of Christmas" and "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" as well as the original "Thank You" -- written on PTX member Scott Hoying's birthday -- and "Seasons of Love" from the musical "Rent."

PTX, which came to fame after winning the third season of NBC's "The Sing-Off" during 2011, has a new album on tap for 2021. But each December the group is happy to be back in the holiday spirit...

• Hoying, 29, says by phone that "We Need a Little Christmas" came as something of a surprise this year. "At first we were gonna take a year off from making Christmas music. But with everting that was going on, we felt like the world needs Christmas music and everyone been looking forward to Christmas. Since we weren't touring and had so much free time, we figured, 'Let's do a Christmas album.' And, funny enough, it's one of our favorite Christmas records we've ever released."

• Hoying adds that the album also gave him and the other group members a chance to show off the recording skills they've learned during quarantine. "We haven't been able to get together, so while creating we would get on Zoom with our arranger. And we all got ProTools or Logic or whatever software, set up microphones and pre-amps, taught ourselves to engineer and record ourselves from home. It's tedious but cool to learn."

• Making a Christmas album is not a casual endeavor for PTX, either, according to Hoying. "We've done so many Christmas albums and had so many cool viral Christmas moments, there's always pressure to live up to the expectations of what our supporters and fans want from us. So we always put a lot of time and thought into it and try to do something special but stay true to what people already love about us. It's nerve-wracking, but in a good way."

• Next up for PTX is "The Lucky Ones," currently due Feb. 12 and the group's first album of all-original songs. "This album is definitely one of the most unique things we've ever put out. It was a lot of creating songs we think people will like. It's the most honest album we've ever released; We all wrote these songs about personal experiences. We're all nearly 30 at this point. We've had 10 years of a career. We wanted to create what we thought would be an amazing original album and was raw us. It felt very therapeutic. This album just means the world to us."

• Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of PTX forming in Arlington, Texas, which Hoying is looking forward too. "When we first started this band I didn’t know how long it would last. Interviewers would say, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' and I would wonder, 'Are we even gonna still be a band.' We took it a day at a time and 10 years later we're still going strong. Do we think we built something that will last forever? I really think what we've made is so special and so lasting -- especially in the Christmas world. I think we're going to be part of Christmas for a long time."

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