Jesus Culture Band's Kim Walker-Smith releases globally her first Christmas album, When Christmas Comes, today from Jesus Culture Music. The album nostalgically peers into Walker-Smith's Christmastime with her 17 favorites of all newly-recorded classics and sacred carols, plus one new song, "Tell Me the Story," written by Anthony Skinner. From cinematic, grand orchestral backdrops to plaintive folk-acoustic stylings and an occasional bluesy flair, all the tracks on the new album feature Kim's powerful, soulful voice. Already gathering critical acclaim, the album immediately launched into the top 14 on the overall iTunes® Albums chart today, while firmly planting at No. 1 on the iTunes® Holiday chart.
Ringing in the holiday season with classics like "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Winter Wonderland" to sacred carols like "The First Noel" and "Away In A Manger," Kim's When Christmas Comes blends all the whimsy and nostalgia of her childhood along with her heart for worship.
"I know that at the core of who I am, I am a worship leader," says Kim. "That part of me comes out naturally in these songs celebrating the whole reason for Christmas—Jesus, that He came to change our lives and set us free. The message of the gospel is the whole theme of Christmas and why we celebrate and what makes it so wonderful."
For Kim, Christmas has also always been about family. "I don't have a single Christmas memory that my family isn't all together," she continues. "No matter what kind of hardship we may have been going through, we were all together for Christmas."
This Christmas will be especially significant for Kim as she and her husband, fellow worship leader Skyler Smith, are getting ready to welcome their second child into the world. Kim's due date, ironically, is Christmas Day. "It's so funny. Being a parent just changes Christmas for you," Kim says. "It makes it even more exciting."
Recording When Christmas Comes in-studio with 2014 Dove Award-winning producer Jeremy Edwardson (Michael W. Smith, Kari Jobe, Jesus Culture), songs like "Let It Snow," "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" and "White Christmas" featured on the album show another side of this versatile vocalist best-known for powerhouse worship anthems with Jesus Culture Band. Aside from collaborating with Skyler on the couple's folk/Americana flavored album, Home, released amidst acclaim last year, Kim has recorded all of her albums to date live.
"The reason I always record live is because we're trying to capture a moment in worship, but with this ... it's a little bit different," the multi-Dove Award nominee explains. "We're making something fun and creative, but an album that still carries my heart in worship. I wanted a mixture of both—songs that could show my heart of worship and songs that are just fun and a part of Christmas, a part of magical childhood memories."