Warmer In The Winter is the first holiday album from critically-acclaimed electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling. The album features the multi-talented artist’s renditions of such holiday favorites as “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Carol of The Bells,” "I Saw Three Ships" and “Jingle Bell Rock” as well as several original numbers written by Stirling.
AXS recently spoke with Lindsey about Warmer In The Winter, her time on "Dancing With The Stars" [where she placed second with her partner, Mark Ballas] and more in this exclusive new interview.
AXS: What made you decide to do a Christmas album?
Lindsey Stirling: I love Christmas music and one of my favorite things about it is how it ties people to their memories. Everyone has their own favorite Christmas songs that have become tradition and brings back tangible memories. I’ve always wanted to do a Christmas album and hope that this music can add to people’s holiday memories and traditions the same way certain songs tie me to mine.
AXS: Was there a certain criteria or theme you had in mind when choosing which songs you wanted to cover?
LS: I don’t think I’ve ever done so much homework for an album [laughs]. I spent hours listening to Christmas music and making playlists. Deciding not only what songs to do but also what style to do each song in. It includes some of my favorites but other songs I chose because they really sang on the violin or brought out the symphonic element. There are so many different sides of Christmas. There’s the big band, classic sound and then there's the magical, symphony sound. Half of the album is with the live band and horns and the other half is with symphonic strings playing live. It was a first for me to be able to do an album in this way and to work with arrangers and composing. It was a lot of fun.
AXS: Let’s discuss a few tracks from the album, starting with “Angels We Have Heard On High.”
LS: That’s always been one of my favorite Christmas songs. I remember when I was a kid my family would make cookies and then we'd all go deliver them to neighbors by caroling. "Angels We Have Heard on High" was a song we sang so well together. On a personal note, I lost several people who were really close to me over the last few years, and the thought of angels has taken on a whole new meaning. I’ve felt the influence of angels in my life so strongly in the last few years. Not only the idea of angels but people I know and love who are looking out for me. That’s why I spent quite a bit of time making that song so special. Because it’s special to me.
AXS: “Carol of the Bells.”
LS: I love instrumental music and that song has always been one of my favorite instrumental jams. For people who know me as an electronic violinist, this is the one that’s going to feel very true to my original music. It’s all synths and ties into my EDM feel.
AXS: What was it like working on original Christmas songs for the new album?
LS: I really enjoyed writing these original songs and had so much fun going into these sessions. It gave us all a chance to talk about Christmas traditions and memories, hot cocoa, snow falling and being in love in a whole different way. I remember I wore a lot of Christmas sweaters all summer long [laughs]. We’d even decorate the studio to try to get into the Christmas mind set. The songs came quite naturally.
AXS: What can you tell me about the title track, “Warmer in The Winter”?
LS: I wanted there to be a lot of different feels on this album, and when I went in to write that song I was going for a real classic song. I usually don’t sing on the demos but I really liked the way it sounded, so I decided to sing it on the album. It was something new and exciting to try.
AXS: I have to ask you about your time on “Dancing With the Stars.” What was that experience like and getting to work with Mark Ballas?
LS: I absolutely loved it. It was a blast being able to be so creative on a weekly basis and learning to dance. I learned so much but had no idea how difficult and exhausting it was going to be---but I’d do it again in a heartbeat!
Working with Mark was amazing. I can’t imagine having done it with anyone else. He was the perfect partner for me. He and his wife, BC Jean [Alexander Jean] are also on tour with me now. They’re incredible and we’ve developed a nice a relationship. I’m sure we’ll work together again.
AXS: Are there any projects you’re working on now?
LS: So far it’s a little open for me, but it's given me a chance to figure out what the next phase will be. I’ve had all these projects on the back burner for quite some time. Maybe it’s time to start some of them. It’s terrifying but also very exciting!
AXS: What are you most looking forward to about this next phase of your career?
LS: I’m excited that I’m at a place professionally and personally where I have the liberty to try new things. I’ve written albums and had so many touring adventures all over the world. Perhaps it’s time to start working on a play or another new project. I’m looking forward to expanding my name in other ways.
Grab tickets to upcoming Lindsey Stirling shows right here on AXS.