Calexico Shares John Lennon & Yoko Ono Cover ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’


Calexico unveiled a cover of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono and an accompanying video. The rendition of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” appears on Calexico’s forthcoming holiday album, Seasonal Shift, which is set for release through ANTI- Records on December 4.

Lennon & Ono originally issued “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” as a single in 1971. “I love this song and I love the universality of the lyrics and the call and response sea of voices,” Calexico vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns said of the tune in a statement. “I decided to start as quiet as possible and find out how loud and massive we could make this song build.”

“There’s a touch of bittersweet added with Connor Gallaher’s slow bending pedal steel that combined with the trumpets that frames this song in a very southwestern, familiar tradition for us, but it’s the vocals that really carry this tune for me and the way the chorus keeps going,” added Burns. “We decided to not stop as the original had and see what would happen if we kept the trance and mantra going. This is something that we would do live onstage a lot and felt really good to try it at home in our makeshift studios scattered around the globe. I love how spread out we all are. Gives a sense of pride especially in these times.”

Seasonal Shift features 12 tracks including the previously released “Hear The Bells.” Bombino, Gaby Moreno, Gisela João, Nick Urata (DeVotchKa) and Camilo Lara are among contributors to the LP.

“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,” explained Burns. “We were aiming to record a 6 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.”

Check out Calexico’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” video below:

  • Calexico Announces Holiday Album ‘Seasonal Shift’ & Shares Single

    Calexico Announces Holiday Album ‘Seasonal Shift’ & Shares Single

    Calexico detailed a new holiday album, ‘Seasonal Shift,’ and released the single, “Hear The Bells.”

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