Calexico have released Seasonal Shift via City Slang, their first-ever holiday album. In honor of release day they have also shared a new video for the song “Heart of Downtown” feat. Bombino.
“I wrote a chorus in French thinking that it would help bridge the gap from our world to [Bombino’s], hoping he would take whatever lines he connected with,” singer, songwriter and guitarist Joey Burns said of the song’s origins. “Lyrically it is all about that bridge and compassion leading us through life changes. With the news of activist and Congressman John Lewis passing away, I was also thinking about some of the “good trouble” he embraced and the struggles he endured. The music is a celebration. I wanted to have something that reflected my sense of hope regardless of how dark these times can be. Hope is the key word.”
Calexico’s ‘Seasonal Shift’ is less of a Christmas album and more of a cross cultural seasonal celebration. The themes are 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 and a few more special guests, combined with a whole load of good will. It’s heartfelt but fun, and earnest but celebratory. It 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‘ is out today via City Slang and can be ordered here on different formats, including a limited edition vinyl via Rough Trade,