- 17 Jun 19
Gorgeous collaboration between Americana heavyweights.
Calexico and Iron & Wine first collaborated on 2005’s In The Reins EP and a subsequent tour, promising to work together again. It has taken 14 years for their schedules to align once more, but it was worth the wait. Laid-back Americana is very much the order of the day, as the pace rarely raises itself above a mild canter. Opener ‘What Heaven’s Left’ is smile-inducingly beautiful, complete with some of the loveliest brass this side of a New Orleans second-line. The mournful trumpet turns the title-track into a sad, slow waltz, while the melody of the gorgeous ‘In Your Own Time’ sounds like a slowed-down version of Kenny Rogers’ ‘The Gambler’.
The swirling ‘Midnight Sun’, with its gentle choral vocal, is like a warm southern dusk set to music, before managing to fit in a reasonably squalling rock guitar solo towards the finale. ‘The Bitter Suite’ is an eight-minute epic, broken up into three parts, from the acoustic guitar and vocals of ‘Pajaro’, through the trumpet-driven fugue of ‘Evil Eye’ and on to the tender folk of ‘Tennessee Train’.
Pick of the bunch, though, is ‘Father Mountain’, whose peaceful easy feeling could be an out-take from Neil Young’s 1970s glory days. A gentle triumph.