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Nov 20, 2018

Ready for Christmas: David Archuleta returns to GJ with new album, holiday music

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The year 2018 was perpetual Christmas for David Archuleta.

Granted, it was self-inflicted. He wanted his next Christmas album to feature several songs he had written.

So he started writing in January when the feelings drawn out by twinkle lights, tinsel and baby Jesus in the manger were still around.

There also was a snow and ice storm in Nashville — Archuleta grew up in Utah and moved to Tennessee about four years ago — that "was just perfect for writing songs about winter and Christmas," Archuleta said in a phone interview in early November.

With thoughts of cold, crisp walks and the scent of evergreen, Archuleta wrote three Christmas songs that are among the 12 tracks on his new album, "Winter In The Air," released Nov. 2.

Archuleta's concert tour in support of "Winter In The Air" will come to Grand Junction on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St.

It will be the second time Archuleta has performed a Christmas concert in Grand Junction. The first was in 2009 with his "Christmas From The Heart" album and a year after he was a runner-up on Season 7 of "American Idol."

Archuleta still recalls the Parade of Lights that brought crowds to downtown Grand Junction the same evening as that concert.

While he'll miss the parade by a few days this time around, he was looking forward to an audience ready to get into the holiday mood.

Christmas tours are his favorite because of the powerful feelings the season evokes, he said.

But writing a Christmas song is different from writing a pop song or love song because of the traditions and memories associated with the holiday, he said.

"Something that is shared with so many other people... taking on the responsibility for writing a song that talks about that was intimidating for me," Archuleta said.

But he did it nonetheless, at times pulling from personal experiences he thought many others could identify with, he said.

With his own Christmas songs, as well as the other tracks on the album, he wanted to show the various sides of the Christmas season.

Along with memories, there's the spiritual aspect of Christmas with the birth of Christ, there's joy and anticipation, peace in a world of chaos and the chill of winter. "I just wanted there to be something for everyone," he said.

In addition to "Winter In The Air," Archuleta also recently released a four-song EP in Spanish titled "Navidad."

He was able to find Spanish versions for three of the songs, but not for "In The Bleak Midwinter."

Fortunately, one of his aunts does a lot of translation work — Archuleta's mother's family is from Honduras — and he asked her to translate the carol.

"So it's my own version," he said.

("Navidad" can be found on iTunes and Amazon.)

While Archuleta did a great deal of thinking about Christmas this year, "I've already been working on more pop music," he said.

His 2017 album "Postcards in the Sky" was his first independent release and his first major album since taking time to serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"There were a lot of things I didn't really know how to do," Archuleta said about "Postcards."

With a second Christmas album to his name and more experience as an indie artist, Archuleta has plans for more releases.

"I've already written a bunch of songs," he said.