ARIZONA’S atmospheric Tex-Mex outfit Calexico have returned after last year’s collaborative album with Iron & Wine, and have announced a new album whose songs are very much concerned with this time of year in the shape of Seasonal Shift.

The album is a celebration of the wider winter and festive season and will be released via the offices of City Slang on December 4th; you can take a listen to the first track they’ve shared from the new ‘un, “Hear The Bells”, below.

The band’s Joey Burns said of “Hear The Bells”: “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.”

Thus the thematic aspect of Seasonal Shift is less focused on Christmas itself – although there’s plenty of room for that – and more a cross-cultural celebration: that familiar end-of-year feeling, of reflection, of ceremony and of recognition of the year gone by and the changes it brought.

It contains a few coves including the John Lennon-Ono perennial “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, Tom Petty’s “Peace of Mind”; and also in the spirit of the winter hearthside, a clutch of special guests including Nick Urata of the Russian vocal quartet DeVotchKa, Guatemalan guitarist Gaby Moreno, and Tuareg singer-songwriter Bombino.

Joey summates the record: “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 permanent hibernation mode either, but I’m super happy and extremely grateful.” 

Seasonal Shift‘will be released by City Slang on December 4th on digital download, CD, trad black, violet, and Rough Trade exclusive red vinyl; you can place your order now, here.