Letters to Cleo are ushering in fall leading into the Holiday season with the announcement of their Holiday EP Ok Christmas out November 15th and available for vinyl pre-order at this location! 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 Dogmatics (“X Mas Time – Sure Don’t Feel Like It”) and one original, “Miss You This Christmas.” The band made a unanimous decision to take a subtle yet powerful stand against gun violence with this EP release changing the “machine gun” lyrics in “Father Christmas” to “Can you meltdown all the machine guns / so kids are safe on the streets.” “The lyric change in Father Christmas was initially brought up by Greg, after the mass shooting in El Paso,” says Kay Hanley. “ I decided to turn to Twitter to ask the Kinks if they had any suggestions, 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.“
“Song selection for Ok Christmas was an interesting experience,” says Michael Eisenstein. “We knew we were going to try to write an original, but we wanted to agree on 3-4 covers as well. Before we even decided to make a Holiday EP, our manager Michael Creamer suggested we do a single of The Dogmatics’ ‘X-mas Time.’ He was more or less like, ‘it mentions Filene’s Basement and Kenmore Square, you gotta do it!’ It’s a gift to our Boston fans. The Kinks “Father Christmas” which has been covered many times but remains largely unknown was on all of our lists from thes start. Greg found Elvis Presley’s “If I Get Home On Christmas Day” and no one was too crazy about it as first. Then he made an acoustic demo of his arrangement idea and we all got it. Stacy laid down the drum track in one take. “
Letters to Cleo formed in 1990 in Boston, lead by guitarist Greg Mckenna and singer Kay Hanley. The band came onto the national spotlight with the release of their first hit single “Here & Now,” released by Giant Records (a subsidiary of Warner Brothers Records). The song reached No. 10 on the Billboard Modern Rock Singles chart. The band’s music could be heard on many of the top TV shows and films throughout the 1990’s, including the cult classic 10 Things I Hate About You, where the band contributed 4 songs to the soundtrack and were featured in the film. The band played their last show in 2000 and each of the members went on to have successful careers working in different areas of music from the production, writing, performance, musical directing etc.
The band reunited in 2016 to put out new music for the first time in 17 years, an EP called Back to Nebraskathat was met with wildly positive reviews from fans and media alike. Since then the band has been touring regularly every fall right before Thanksgiving, ending the tour in their home town of Boston. 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
Letters to Cleo will be playing songs from the EP on the road this fall closing the year, with their annual homecoming shows in Boston at the Paradise Rock Club.
Ok Christmas Tracklisting:
- Father Christmas
- Miss You This Christmas
- If I Get Home On Christmas Day
- X Mas Time (Sure Don’t Feel Like It)
11/16 The Hi Hat – Los Angeles, CA
11/19 Union Stage – Washington, DC **
11/ 21 The Met – Pawtucket, RI **
11/22 Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA **
11/23 Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA **
** Supported by Speedy Oritz