Hannah Thomas gets a head start on the holidays with her new album Christmas Don’t Be Late — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“I love Christmas music,” says the 18-year-old singer from Stratford, Ont., who has wanted to make a holiday album for years. She began prepping the album — which features 11 reimagined seasonal favourites — in the early months of 2020, alongside Dayna Manning and Lori Thomas.
Fittingly, the title track of the album was one of the first songs the trio considered for the project. “I love the song and thought that I could do a really unique version of it,” Thomas explains. “Ben Bolt-Martin was the arranger on this album and he did an outstanding job making all of the songs unique but this arrangement was one of my favourites. It boasts a slow melodic start, then breaks into an uptempo, fast paced, catchy Christmas tune.”
The set also includes Thomas’s takes on Meghan Trainor’s I’ll Be Home, Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You and more. The release concludes with a heartfelt and inspiring father/daughter duet of The Prayer, featuring Hannah’s dad Dale Thomas.
Like most Christmas music, the album wasn’t created in anything close to a festive setting. “We recorded this album in the middle of Covid-19 when rental space and in person contact was limited,” Thomas says. “We were fortunate to find a space in a friend’s former chicken barn just outside of Stratford where we had the proper acoustics and availability to safely distance from one another. It was here that we recorded some of the instruments and really got a feel for what the album would sound like. The addition of the odd cricket, which we had to remove from the room, added some humour to our days of recording. We finished recording the album in late fall of 2020 at The Drive Shed Recording Studio, with John ‘Beetle’ Bailey, in New Hamburg, Ont.”
Even at her young age, Thomas is already a seasoned performer. She has opened for Alan Doyle, worked with Dayna Manning (whom she later enlisted to produce Christmas Don’t Be Late), and even staged a summer concert series at her family’s dock along the Avon River. Listen to Christmas Don’t Be Late below and keep up with Hannah Thomas at her website, Facebook and Instagram.