One could say inclement weather played a big part in the recording of this album. This Is Christmas, comprising nine self-penned songs + a Phil Spector cover, began in a snowstorm and was completed in the midst of a hurricane - in August.
Last December Emmy and Tim found themselves holed up in snow bound Sussex. Having missed 6 flights between them and bored of building snowmen, the two hit upon the idea of writing a Christmas album.
"I'm a sucker for all kinds of Christmas songs from carols to Nat King Cole to 70's glam rock classics and 80's guilty pleasures" admits Tim "and it felt like a good time to contribute something new to the genre".
Taking the name 'Sleigher' (oh yes), the duo started penning the first of these songs which included dedications to Mrs Christmas - "she must sit at home on Xmas Eve seething, 'cos she's on her own again"; an ode to that long lost love you only see in the festive season - Home For The Holidays and Sleigh Me, the first song Emmy and Tim have written together and "probably (says Emmy) my favourite on the record".
A second writing stint took place in New York in May, a surreal experience given the spring weather, but obscure black and white Xmas movies like Christmas In Connecticut helped get them in the mood. In late August, as they rushed to meet the recording deadline, Hurricane Irene hit the U.S East coast and with yet another flight cancellation giving them the extra time they needed, the record was finished.
Full of the sort of pop gems Tim Wheeler has made a career out of and aided by Emmy's lyrical prowess, This Is Christmas is a much-needed departure from the usual sentimental warblings that clutter up the charts this time of year. The album features Matt Tong from Bloc Party on drums, Euan Hinshelwood (Young Husband, Emmy The Great) on guitar, a string section orchestrated by esteemed film composer Ilan Eskeri, with Tim and Emmy playing everything else.
The first track Christmas Day (I Wish I Was Surfing) can be downloaded exclusively over at facebook.com/emmyandtim where there will be a host of exciting Christmassy happenings to come, fans can also upload their Christmas pictures for the chance to have them included in the itunes booklet for the release.
A very special one-off Christmas show is in the planning stages - details to be announced soon.