When Sixpence None the Richer announced their split in early 2004, it wasn't long before Leigh Nash and Matt Slocum started thinking about reuniting. (Actually, it was about as long as they normally take to release another album.) The duo occasionally discussed the possibility while apart, a time which saw Nash record a solo album, celebrate one new life (she had a baby boy, Henry, in 2004), mourn the loss of another (her father died in late 2007), and go through a divorce (she and Mark Nash split last year). Meanwhile, Slocum traveled internationally, did some studio work, mentored young musicians, and got married. Nash and Slocum decided to reunite a year ago, and they have since released an EP, My Dear Machine, and now their first Christmas album, The Dawn of Grace. They're still creating—Slocum and his wife had their first child a few months ago, and he and Nash are working on a new full-length album for sometime in 2009. We recently caught up with Nash and Slocum, who are preparing for a Christmas tour with Jars of Clay, Sara Groves, and Leeland in December.

So, why a Christmas album, and why now?

Leigh Nash: Sixpence fans have been asking for a Christmas album for as long as I can remember. It was something we always wanted to do, but somehow time got away from us. Now that we are back together, we thought a Christmas album would be a nice gift for our long-time supporters. We love it and hope they will too!

Matt Slocum: We thought it was another good way to get back into things. We had fun with it, and our sound suits it. We think it came out really fantastic.

How did your decision to reunite come about?

Nash: Matt was in Europe on his honeymoon [in the summer of 2007], and when he was there, we talked about getting together when he got back home. The feeling was pretty mutual. I think we both had been missing the music we make together. So it sort of fell into place once again, pretty easily like it did the first time. Would you say so, Matt?

Slocum: Definitely. It was good timing too; I had gotten married in April, and then we moved to Italy for six months. Coming back it was a little like, "What are we going to do now?"

So who made the first call? Who initiated it?

Nash: We'd both been thinking about it, but let's say it was me.

Slocum: We had conversations about what it would look like if we got back together. Could that happen? Or, would that be cool?

Nash: I had thought about [reuniting] all along. I missed it the whole time we were apart, but I kept thinking, it's a good break, and it was good for me to make the [solo] record. But I missed it the whole time.

Slocum: I would echo that. There was this gradual progression of missing making music together. I didn't know if it would ever happen, but I was real happy when it did.

Matt, what did you do in those almost four years apart?

Slocum: I traveled a bit; I went to Japan and Ireland. Here in Nashville, with a few friends, we started a community music school; that lasted about three years. And I did session work and arranging and playing with other bands. I definitely tried to keep busy, but it just wasn't as focused as when it was just Sixpence. And I got married.