It's been a while since you thought about Chord Overstreet, right? Same. Post-Glee drawing to a close in 2015, we haven't heard all that much from the man behind William McKinley High School's biggest goofball, Sam "Sam I am" Evans. Sam was a sweet-hearted transfer student and athlete, who had a serious case of foot-in-mouth disease, constantly self-sabotaging with lines like "Lor menori: it means you have pretty eyes. It's Na'avi" (AKA the language spoken in Avatar). But the fact that Chord Overstreet's new Christmas song cover, "All I Want For Christmas Is a Real Good Tan”, sounds so much like a track from Glee is no surprise. After all, Sam got to sing some of the catchiest hits on the show, from Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop" to "Summer Loving" from the Grease soundtrack.
Glee was mostly about feel-good music: major chord melodies, positivity, and lyrics that left you grinning in front of your TV set. "All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan" boasts the hallmarks of a Glee song. It's as sunny as the beach the song describes, it's got a steady, chilled rhythm, there are backing singers and harmonies, and it nails a universal desire in a quirky way. After all, don't we all just want a fun beach vacation for Christmas?
Given the catchy, Glee-heavy flavor, you might be surprised to discover the song wasn't written by Overstreet himself. The song was written by his father, who just happens to be the multiple Grammy Award winner country singer Paul Overstreet and who has written songs for the likes of Blake Shelton and Kenny Chesney. (In fact, it was Chesney who first recorded the song for his 2003 Christmas album of the same name.) No wonder Overstreet Junior is so talented; he's basically descended from country music royalty. In an interview in September, he was quick to acknowledge how big an influence his father has been in his music:
Growing up with my dad being a 2 time Grammy-winner, BMI songwriter of the year for five consecutive years in a row, and having the legacy he has is definitely a huge influence too. I got to write a lot with him growing up and he kind of showed me the ropes... A combination of seeing my dad’s success in writing music and being very critically acclaimed gave me a lot of drive to get there versus not knowing what the hell I’m doing.
Still, in the same interview, Overstreet was quick to acknowledge his other major influence as a musician: working on Glee. When asked how the show helped shape him as a musician, he replied:
It was interesting because it was kind of like college for me in a sense, I was very raw. It helped me jump into performing in front of a lot of people and being comfortable, getting a stage presence and knowing what I’m doing. It’s one of those things where I got thrown into the heat of it all being very green. It really helped me become ready to go on this journey on my own.
If you like what you've heard so far and are hoping for more, ideally Glee-esque, catchy hits, then this is your moment to get excited. Overstreet is signed to Island and Safehouse Records and is working on his first studio album. Sam Evans may have vanished from our television sets, but, through the music of Chord Overstreet, he lives on in our hearts and eardrums.