Home Read Albums Of The Week: Calexico | Seasonal Shift

Albums Of The Week: Calexico | Seasonal Shift

The Arizona duo's southwestern-style holiday gathering is a sweetly sincere affair.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Tucson, Arizona group Calexico’s first holiday Seasonal Shift is less of a Christmas album and more of a cross-cultural seasonal celebration based around that familiar end-of-year feeling of reflection, ceremony and recognition of the year gone by and changes it brought — for better and for worse.

“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,” said vocalist / guitarist Joey Burns, pointing specifically to first single Hear The Bells. “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 contains a few cover songs, including classics by John Lennon with Yoko Ono and Tom Petty as well as a few special guests and a whole lot of good will. It’s heartfelt but fun, 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 of 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 six-song EP and we kept going. I guess I never thought I would be on semi-permanent hibernation mode either, but I’m super-happy and extremely grateful.”