Alt. Rock heroes Letters to Cleo are ringing in the Holiday season with the release of Ok Christmas out worldwide on all digital services and available on limited edition colored vinyl HERE.
When asked about the decision to record a Holiday album guitarist Greg McKenna commented that ”Over the years, we’ve half-jokingly/half-seriously talked about doing a Christmas album. It’s this year that we finally got off our butts to record one. “
“Everyone went looking through their holiday records and we came up with a list of songs that we thought would be cool,” says McKenna on deciding which songs to record for the Holiday EP. “We ended up picking one popular song, one local song, one re-arrangement of a classic Christmas song and an original song.
There were quite a few great Christmas songs that didn’t make the cut that we would have loved to record!” Ok Christmas includes three covers of Holiday classics and cult favorites made famous by the Kinks (“Father Christmas”), Elvis (“If I Get Home On Christmas Day”) and the Boston’s the Dogmatics (“X Mas Time – Sure Don’t Feel Like It”) and one original, “Miss You This Christmas.”
The band went in to record the EP just after the tragic mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this summer, and decided to alter the lyric, “But if you’ve got one I’ll have a machine gun, so I can scare all the kids on the street,” in the Kinks song “Father Christmas,” to make make it more topical, and to take a subtle yet powerful stand against gun violence.
“I decided to turn to Twitter to ask the Kinks if they had any suggestions,” says lead singer Kay Hanley, “which encouraged fans to chime in with ideas of their own. One twitter follower, Eric Reiberg (@Eric_time) came up with the idea that I ultimately used to construct the new lyric, which became ‘And can you meltdown all the machine guns So the kids are safe on the streets.’”
Ok Christmas is the band’s second EP release since reuniting after a 17-year hiatus.
The band got back together in 2016 record and release the Back to Nebraska EP that ABC News said “delivers exactly the kind of infectious power-pop that made them famous,” and Stereogum said it’s “five tracks worth of warm and heartfelt music from the ’90s alt-rockers.”
In addition to Back to Nebraska, new music came last fall when Letters to Cleo released their first three albums Aurora Gory Alice, Wholesale Meats and Fish and Go! on vinyl for the very first time through a limited edition pressing. Copies of all three albums along with the vinyl version of Back to Nebraska are available on LettersToCleo.net.
As for future plans, Letters to Cleo are working on new music and hope to release a full-length album in 2020, in addition to more extensive touring.