For the better part of two decades, Tuscon-based Calexico has had me under its spell*.
With a core of Joey Burns (guitars, vocals) and John Convertino (drums), the band has crossed musical barriers, embracing a multitude of styles, variety in instrumentation, and well-cultivated signature sounds. With the forthcoming record Edge of the Sun, out April 14 2015 on ANTI-Records, the band takes inspiration from a trip to a place surprisingly unexplored by the band before (in Mexico City), and with the benefit of many friends and comrades to help guide the way. The first outside invitation came when Burns was writing the track “Bullets and Rocks” and recognized space for a former Calexico collaborator. “When putting vocals on that song, it immediately reminded me of the Iron & Wine feel,” says Burns. “So I texted Sam (Beam), who wrote back quickly and got it going.”
Encouraged by the experience, the guest list grew to include Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), Nick Urata (Devotchka), Carla Morrison, Gaby Moreno, Amparo Sanchez, multi-instrumentalists from the Greek band Takim, and Neko Case. Burns’ brother John lent a hand to some lyrics and songwriting, and the band’s keyboardist, Sergio Mendoza, stepped up to co-write and arrange certain songs, ultimately co-producing the album along with Burns, Convertino, and longtime associate Craig Schumacher.
The last Calexico release 2012’s Algiers was recorded in New Orleans, so it will be interesting to hear whether the difference in recording setting comes through the finished product.
Here’s the first release from Edge Of The Sun – the track “Falling From The Sky”