The Festive “Winter Cold” Recording Session for Christmas in July

It was Christmas in July at the Vault today. Ever since I got the idea for “Winter Cold” last year during Christmas time, I’ve been counting down the days until I could record it. Today, I got to do just that with Bob and Brett, the best musical elves in town.

Speaking of elves, I may or may not have brought one of my many elves to the studio. Okay, I definitely did. It’s obvious I went all out for the session. 

Demi Michelle, Bob McCutcheon, and Brett McCutcheon at the “Winter Cold” Session

I had the most fun recording “Winter Cold” today, so I’m holly jolly excited to spill the tea, or hot chocolate? Now, I want hot chocolate. 

The “Winter Cold” Piano

First, I kicked off the “Winter Cold” session by recording piano. I love the piano accompaniment. It’s always special when I get to record piano on my songs.

The magical part of recording the piano is that I played it perfectly in one take. It’s special when this happens because musicians rarely have flawless takes, especially the first one. When I got to the end of the song, I knew that I played it perfectly, so I didn’t move my hands from the keys or my foot from the pedal until the music faded to silence. The piano sounds gorgeous, and yes, I’m having a proud moment because I rehearsed so much. When I listened back to the piano through headphones, I had a huge smile on my face.

In case you’re wondering, my elf was sitting on the piano while I recorded. If you ask me, the elf brought me good luck.

Layering More Instruments

After I sleighed the piano—yes, pun intended—I added more instruments to the song with Bob and Brett sharing their awesome ideas. Even though “Winter Cold” is a piano ballad, we had to fill out the sound and create a festive atmosphere. We added bass, cello, strings, and other subtle sounds. I loved hearing the song come to life after months of having a vision for it.

Recording Vocals

Once we finished layering all the instruments, I recorded vocals. Even though it’s summertime, I was totally in a festive mood. “Winter Cold” is very dynamic, so I loved being able to change the tone and volume of my voice for different sections of the song.

“Winter Cold” is super intimate, so I didn’t go wild with background vocals. I sang a few harmonies, and they give the song a nice flavor in places. I feel like because there aren’t many harmonies, the ones that are there really stand out and create special moments.

After singing this song for such a long time, I really enjoyed recording it. I loved recording over such a beautiful track we put together.

The “Winter Cold” Saxophone 

I seriously can’t find the words to express how perfect the saxophone sounds. I lost count of how many times I said, “That sounds so freakin’ good,” while Brett was recording. I’ve never had saxophone on any of my songs before, so the whole experience was absolutely incredible.

From the moment Brett played the intro, I was mesmerized by the saxophone and how perfectly it fits with “Winter Cold.” Every single note is so graceful, and don’t even get me started on the saxophone solo. It’s stunning, and I’ll never get over it.

I’m so glad I decided to include saxophone. I can’t thank Brett enough for being part of this song. “Winter Cold” sounded so pretty before the saxophone, but once it was recorded, I knew it was the shiny bow to wrap up the song.

“Winter Cold” is a special Christmas song, and I can’t wait to share it with you. I already have a release date in mind. Also, I filmed the session, so a studio vlog is definitely coming with the release.

I’m so lucky I got to go back to my second home today to record “Winter Cold.” Special thank you to Bob and Brett for being part of it and for letting me be all extra with my outfit and elf.

If you’d like to read about my other sessions, head over to my studio stories and enjoy!