One of the most beautiful (and realistic) holiday songs you’ll hear in 2020, Rascal Flatts singer Gary LeVox and Canadian pianist-songwriter Stephan Moccio have teamed up for “Christmas Will Be Different This Year.” After hearing Moccio’s melody through mutual friend Scott Borchetta, LeVox wrote the lyrics with Natalie Hemby. Then the three of them collaborated on the final work on a Zoom call.
LeVox told CMT.com, “Christmas will be different for the entire world this year in one way or another. We have never seen anything like 2020. We tried to tell that story through this song and that hope is on the horizon. I hope the song brings remembrance on what’s important in life and the gift that everyday truly is.”
Perhaps best known for writing “I Believe” for the 2010 Winter Games in Canada, Moccio has also placed credits with Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, and Josh Groban. Over the summer he decided to put out an instrumental Christmas album. In a behind-the-scenes video, he says, “I wanted the beginning to have a call to action, where you have church bells that are literally ringing but there’s really nobody going to church this year.”
Released by Big Machine Records, “Christmas Will Be Different This Year” follows the two-decade career of Rascal Flatts, whose farewell tour was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. But in the behind-the-scenes video, LeVox notes, “I think this song encompasses what the holidays will be this year, and not just because of Covid and all of that, but kids going away to school. The world as we once knew it is different. And I think this year Christmas will be different for everybody.”
He added, “When everybody hears the song, I hope what they take away from it is, hug your family a little tighter. If you haven’t told the person that you love that you love ’em recently, I think it’s the time. I love the song. I hope you do, too. We had an amazing time creating it. I hope it blesses you.”