Next week, St. John's alt-rockers Hey Rosetta! drop their brand new holiday EP, A Cup of Kindness Yet. Exciting news, as it's the first collection of new music from the band since the release of their 2010 Polaris Music Prize shortlisted album, Seeds. Even more exciting, Hey Rosetta! is letting us share it with you on CBC Music a week before its official release.
Listen A Cup of Kindness Yet EP, streaming until Nov. 19
The lead track is a toe-tapping heart-lifter called "Carry Me Home," a Christmas song that was written, oddly enough, last April as the band toured Australia.
"I don't know how it became a Christmas song," Hey Rosetta! frontman Tim Baker told CBC Music by phone from Manchester, England. "It felt jolly to me, and I guess I've been wanting to write a song like that for a while, about not being able to get home for Christmas."
Baker enjoyed the challenge of trying to make a Christmas release that wasn't "maudlin, or cheesy." His strategy: avoid doing a full-length Christmas record watered down with mediocre covers. Instead, Hey Rosetta! focused on the brand new single and some solid audience-tested material.
"We've done a Christmas show in our hometown, St. John's, every year now for four or five years," says Baker. "Each year we try to do some new covers, and I had an old original 'New Year's Eve' that I wrote seven years ago that had never been put on anything ... [on the EP] we went with what really, really excited us."
The collection includes three original tracks and a very rock 'n' roll rendition of "O Come O Come Emmanuel." "New Year's Eve," which has become a mainstay of the band's set at their annual St. John's Christmas show, is a beautiful slow-burner that culminates a gang vocal rendition of Auld Lang Syne. "The First Snow" is a sombre addition to the album, a poignant ballad about the changing season and the process of aging.
The band wraps up its European tour in November, and will be home in time to play that annual St. John's Christmas show on Dec. 20 at Mile One Centre. Then, the band will take a break from touring to complete the followup to Seeds. Baker says half of the album's songs have already been written, and expects the record to be complete by mid-2013.
"I think we're going to have it recorded by the spring, definitely by the summer," he says. "So it will be coming out as soon as the label decides to put it out."
Hey Rosetta!'s A Cup Of Kindness Yet will be released Nov. 19. Watch for it on the band's website or iTunes.
Listen to more Hey Rosetta! on CBC Music
Hey Rosetta! add verse to 'Welcome' on La Blogothèque
Hey Rosetta! in concert at the Canadian Consulate Residence, LA
Hey Rosetta! live at the Polaris Music Prize Gala 2011
on Nov 12, 2012