With their cloying melodies and saccharine lyrics, holiday songs often end up being unrelentingly depressing and soulless, but Letters to Cleo switch things up on their new EP, OK Christmas. The music is anything but sappy as the Boston group bash their way through a punky remake of The Kinks’ Xmess anthem “Father Christmas,” with lead singer Kay Hanley effusively singing such sarcastic Ray Davies lyrics as “Father Christmas, give us some money/Don’t mess around with those silly toys/We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over.” Along with covers of holiday songs by The Dogmatics and Elvis Presley, Letters to Cleo melt hearts with a new original power-pop anthem, “Miss You This Christmas,” in which Hanley (the singing voice of the title character in 2001’s Josie and the Pussycats) purrs radiantly, her vocals bookended by cheery bells. With Tiny Stills.
The Hi Hat, 5043 York Blvd., Highland Park; Sat., Nov. 16, 8 p.m.; $30. https://hihat.ticketfly.com/e/letters-to-cleo-with-tiny-stills-68548693989.
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