Ian Foster and Nancy Hynes celebrate the spirit of the season with a Newfoundland tour and all new holiday album, A Week in December
Acclaimed producer and singer-songwriter Ian Foster and longtime collaborator and harmony singer Nancy Hynes are the latest Newfoundland based artists to dip toes in the holiday spring, setting up a lengthy tour across Atlantic Canada complete with an all new album, A Week in December.
Ten Holiday Classics
“We sat down together and made a list of songs that we really liked and thought represented the season,” shared Foster on his debut Christmas record. “We paired it down to ten songs that we loved, in terms of the cover songs, that range from the traditional to the more modern hits With Bells On. We rounded out the record with two songs I wrote for it.”
Comprised of ten holiday classics and two originals, A Week In December is Foster and Hynes’s homage to the very best parts of the season, decidedly joyful while also staying true to the flavour of Atlantic Canada.
“There’s two kind of distinct sides of Christmas,” Foster says of the album and his pair of original tunes “There’s the upbeat, social, party side of that, which I think is present in Old Christmas Day, one of the two songs. The other is called A Week In December. It’s a song that had its start back in March of last year. I was up in Calgary spending a bunch of time with a friend who was from here and talking about when he gets home in the year, usually a week in December during Christmastime, and sort of thinking about the introspective side of Christmas, the fact that a lot of people come home and if they live away how much home may have stayed the same or changed since they were last there.”
Aiming to set themselves apart from the wealth of holiday material available, Foster and Hynes have crafted a distinctively personal sound with A Week In December, one that represents what each love about this particular time of year.
“I think there’s such a wealth of Christmas songs out there and so many great versions of Christmas songs. The only way we could really approach it was let our own tastes guide us first in the sense that every song on this record is a song we genuinely enjoy,” he explains. “We chose them for no other reason then we thought these were songs that we really liked and hopefully bring something different to.”
‘Tis the Season
The tour kicked off on November 25th in Conception Bay South as part of Michelle Noftall’s ‘Tis the Season, and includes local stops in Brookfield, Lewisporte, Botwood, Gander and Deer Lake, before wrapping at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in St. John’s on December 13th.
“This is a time of year that we don’t usually tour,” Foster admits. “Usually in November I’d be winding down my year in terms of being on the road because December is a time for Christmas music. It’s a time to hear those songs that we really love each year. There’s sort of that limited window of four to six weeks where we listen to that music intently and then we don’t listen for another year. There is kind of a beautiful time capsule in that period of time and it’s going to be fun to be a part of that and hopefully create some new traditions for people to come to these shows each year.”
Foster hopes that he and Hynes can join the lengthy list of successful artists who have embedded themselves as part of the population’s holiday traditions. Christmastime performances are big business in Newfoundland and Labrador, with eager festive folk flocking to soak in a few weeks of holiday tunes before Old Christmas Day. A Week in December just might help Foster and Hynes become a part of those same traditions for years to come.
“To me every show is about that, it’s about that communion with the audience and having just a moment in time. That’s what a show is. As a show-goer we go out and for those two to three hours we’re in that place. We’re in a noisy world and that’s more important than ever, to be in a place for a few hours with other people experiencing something.
“I think this will be a different show for us,” he adds, “but in a lot of ways it will be a different extension of what we’re trying to do anyway which is have those moments.”
For tickets & more information on dates, venues and the new album visit ianfoster.ca