You can never fault ‘Calexico’ for a lack of variety and originality across their releases. Their ability to mix genre’s and obscure instrumentation throughout their existing eight albums have offered a myriad of memorable moments, and if truth be told some quite curious ones as well.
And so, it’s on to album number nine ‘Edge of the Sun’ from the Arizona based duo and I’m delighted to say that the comments articulated to all in paragraph one are as relevant to this new release as they have been to the bands back-catalogue.
The premise for ‘Edge of the Sun’ seems to be that of all things Mexicana. The band has always incorporated a Latin swagger to previous material but for this LP they’ve completely upped the ante. The album was partly written in Mexico and the attentiveness to their surroundings has obviously inspired the band to completely immerse them-selves into the culture. Whereas before we may have had small elements of brass and Latin-esque rhythms the band now showcases these sounds with utter bravado. It’s big and outrageously brash ensuring the listener is left in no doubt as to the subject matter.
However, this is a Calexico release and so nothing is as simple as one may expect. Sure, there are the wonderful Latin sounds on the likes of on ‘Cumbia de Donde’, ‘Coyoacan’ and the dream-like ‘Beneath the City of Dreams’ but there are also moments of indie, electronica and glorious Americana in the form of ‘Woodshed Waltz’. Even with all of the above there is still an obvious continuity from track to track. It all seems to flow without any musical distraction or need to hit the ‘next’ button.
Interestingly the album also contains a healthy number of contributions from fellow musicians including Iron & Wine, the Greek group Takim , Neko Case, Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Mexican singer Carla Morrison, and Spanish musician Amparo Sanchez. It’s an eclectic mix of artists and each not only offers a brief taste of their ability but all ensures that their contribution adds to the make-up of their associated track. These songs are as much about the artist contributing as to the band themselves … a partnership of sorts.
Without doubt this is the bands strongest material to date. It may have been recorded in a more relaxed manner but its sound is bigger than anything that’s gone before. There are obvious pop elements to be heard throughout and there are points where the melodies are joyfully overwhelming. This LP is the classic that the band has come so close to achieving throughout their illustrious career.
You can see ‘Calexico’ at one of the following venues…
14th April 2015 – Amager Bio, Copenhagen BUY TICKETS
15th April 2015 – Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg BUY TICKETS
16th April 2015 – Paradiso, Amsterdam BUY TICKETS
17th April 2015 – Effenaar, Eindhoven BUY TICKETS
18th April 2015 – Heimathafen, Berlin BUY TICKETS
20th April 2015 – E-Werk, Cologne BUY TICKETS
21st April 2015 – Muffathalle, Munich BUY TICKETS
22nd April 2015 – Volkshaus, Zurich BUY TICKETS
23rd April 2015 – Fabrique, Milan BUY TICKETS
25th April 2015 – Atelier, Luxembourg BUY TICKETS
26th April 2015 – Trianon, Paris BUY TICKETS
27th April 2015 – Ancienne Belguque, Brussels BUY TICKETS
28th April 2015 – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London BUY TICKETS
30th April 2015 – The Albert Hall, Manchester BUY TICKETS
1st May 2015 – Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool BUY TICKETS
2nd May 2015 – The Limelight, Belfast BUY TICKETS
4th May 2015 – Olympia Theatre, Dublin BUY TICKETS
The full track-listing for ‘Edge of the Sun’ is as follows…
‘Falling from the Sky’
‘Bullets & Rocks’
‘When the Angels Played’
‘Tapping on the Line’
‘Cumbia De Donde’
‘Miles from the Sea’
‘Beneath the City of Dreams’
‘Moon Never Rises’
‘Follow the River’