What a year to release your first Christmas album, even if it’s not actually a Christmas album as such – maybe it’s the best year of all given how much cheering up we all need (and perhaps we’ll need even more by Wednesday next week. Eek.) Anyway deck the halls because Calexico are back and have just announced a new album ‘Seasonal Shift’, due Dec 4th via City Slang. The record is a celebration of the festive season and you can listen to the first track from the record ‘Hear the Bells’ below, which is just superb.
Speaking about the song, the band’s Joey Burns said “When writing songs for a seasonal album, I wanted to include some of the aspects of celebrations and traditions observed in Tucson around early November. This song is about holding time and space for memories. Dia de Los Muertos and The All Souls Procession are two events that have influenced Southern Arizona and remembering those who’ve passed away. But it could also be about giving memories importance, too. The story could be about two lovers or two family members.”
‘Seasonal Shift’ is described as less of a Christmas album and more of a cross-cultural seasonal celebration (calm down Nigel), with themes based around “that familiar end of year feeling, of reflection, of ceremony and of recognition of the year gone by and changes it brought for better and for worse.” It contains a few cover songs including classics by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Tom Petty, a few more special guests, and features Calexico in an assortment of guises, referencing Portuguese Fado and Old Mexican Folk Songs, from the stripped-back two-man skeleton to the full party of international collaborators including artists like Bombino, Gaby Moreno, Gisela João, Nick Urata (DeVotchKa) and Camilo Lara.
Reflecting on the album, Joey Burns says, “It’s more of a seasonal album and like all seasons they are about change and how those changes in the world resonate inside of you. I never thought this would have gone the way that it did. We were aiming to record a 6 song EP and we kept going. I guess I never thought I would be on permanent hibernation mode either, but I’m super happy and extremely grateful.”
‘Seasonal Shift’ will be released Dec 4th via City Slang and can be pre-ordered here on different formats, including a limited edition vinyl via Rough Trade.
‘Seasonal Shift’ tracklist:
1. Hear the Bells
2. Christmas All Over Again (feat. Nick Urata (DeVotchKa))
3. Mi Burrito Sabanero (feat. Gaby Moreno)
4. Heart of Downtown (feat. Bombino)
5. Seasonal Shift
6. Nature’s Domain
7. Happy Xmas (War is Over)
8. Glory’s Hope
9. Tanta Tristeza (feat. Gisela João)
10. Peace of Mind
11. Sonoran Snoball (feat. Camilo Lara)
12. Mi Burrito Sabanero Reprise
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