Oct 01 2008

Calexico – Carried To Dust (2008)

Published by at 7:05 pm under MP3's


Let me start by admitting that I am not nearly as familiar with Calexico as I should be. Strangely, my first experience with the band was when a couple years back I asked my dad if he had ever heard of an album called Feast Of Wire and to my surprise, my dad responded with “yeah, by Calexico?” I had heard the album name dropped multiple times on “essentials” lists and was interested to find out more. Apparently, despite his all but exclusively classic music collection, my dad really dug on Calexico’s Spanish influenced alternative country/folk jams and he gave me Feast Of Wire, which I listened to maybe once but didn’t particularly like it (though in retrospect, I don’t think I had as much of a soft spot for acoustic folk as I do now). Enter 2008: David and I are in the studio at our college radio station when I spot Calexico’s new album Carried To Dust. Fueled by my desperate need for new music, I ripped the album so I could finally maybe get what all the fuss about Calexico was. A week later, I think I’ve figured the fuss out.


Carried To Dust is a beautifully crafted album in Calexico’s traditional vein of Spanish and country influenced folk, written by primary members and chief songwriters Joey Burns and John Convertino. The first two tracks are absolutely breathtaking. “Víctor Jara’s Hands” sets the tone immediately with its Spanish lyrics, dirty southern guitar line and a sexy brass line. “Two Silver Trees” is more simplistic with its use of chimes that mimic the vocal melodies, but the swelling tremolo guitar under the beautiful vocal harmonization on the line “two silver trees” could bring one to tears. “Writer’s Minor Holiday” swings back and forth on its catchy rhythm beneath guitarist/vocalist Joey Burn’s smokey drawl. And while most of the music borders on the sing along folk of the Mountain Goats with a dash of Summerteeth-esque alternative country, “Inspiración” is an unashamed Spanish dance number. From start to finish, the album is truly a fantastic piece of art and undoubtedly one of the best of the year. Luckily, my enthusiasm with Carried To Dust lead me to another Calexico related gem, Iron & Wine and Calexico’s collaboration for a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Dark Eyes” for the film I’m Not There, which I included as a bonus. So check out Carried To Dust and check Calexico’s website to see if they are coming near you during their tour this winter!


mp3: “Two Silver Trees”

mp3: “Writer’s Minor Holiday”

mp3: Iron & Wine With Calexico- “Dark Eyes [Bob Dylan cover]”


No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply