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Calexico - Carried To Dust

Calexico, Carried To Dust

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

TWO years after the disappointing Garden Ruin Calexico return with new album Carried To Dust and, thankfully, return to form.

For their sixth collaboration, Calexico co-founders Joey Burns and John Convertino have called on a rotating cast of musicians and friends to help them create an eclectic collection of songs that possess a distinctly international feel.

The band line-up that solidified around Feast of Wire is also back again, along with a number of guests, including Sam Beam, Douglas McCombs and Pieta Brown.

Evidence of the band’s cross-cultural grasp is evident from the very beginning, with one of the album highlights Victor Jara’s Hands beginning as a country-influenced slice of Americana, before drawing on something altogether more Latin American (courtesy of the mariachi-style horns) and Mexican vocals.

It’s followed by the enchanting Two Silver Trees, which finds Burns in dusky singing style, and makes the most of its excellent bassline.

Further highlights come from tracks such as Writer’s Minor Holiday, the Hispanic horn-led stomp of Inspiracion and, likewise, the distinctly Mexican orientated El Gatillo (Trigger Visited), which contains some of the best guitar work on the long-player. There’s a beautiful melancholy surrounding Falling From Sleeves, too, albeit fleetingly, not to mention another firm favourite, Red Blooms.

Not everything works, of course, and I would have liked to hear even more of the Latin American influences throughout, but then perhaps that would be being spoiled. Most of the time, Carried To Dust is a thoughtful, chilled out and typically classy offering from the Calexico boys.

Download picks: Victor Jara’s Hands, Two Silver Trees, Writer’s Minor Holiday, Inspiracion, El Gatillo, Red Blooms

Track listing:

  1. Victor Jara’s Hands
  2. Two Silver Trees
  3. News About William
  4. Sarabande In Pencil Form
  5. Writer’s Minor Holiday
  6. Man Made Lake
  7. Inspiracion
  8. House Of Valparaiso
  9. Slowness
  10. Bend To The Road
  11. El Gatillo
  12. Fractured Air (Tornado Watch)
  13. Falling From Sleeves
  14. Red Blooms
  15. Contention City