Some of the most beautiful music has drifted from the desert into my imagination and consciousness. Even without the understanding of specific lyrics a visual can be created of open sky, run down saloons, dusty boots and people who are thirsty, broken and are in search of escape. Such is the landscape that Calexico creates in its musical atmosphere. It isn’t enough for them to write a bunch of singular songs that are placed together to create an album. They carefully craft a soundtrack that puts together music for an emotional response. Their blend of Mariachi-Americana brings up a south-west location, but the camera then pans towards the setting sun and you’re hooked.
They may be rooted in a folk tradition, but they never stay wrapped in it long enough to be indebted. Instead they surround themselves with players that can pull sounds and influences from the world over and use them create grand landscapes of music.
Now I know what you’re thinking, this is old hat for Calexico, this sounds like what they’ve been doing for years.
This time however is the masterpiece. While their records have always been rather beautiful and stunning, Edge of the Sun opens and closes as a complete story that leaves you wondering what the hell you can play next. “Falling From The Sky” opens in familiar territory with a guitar armed protagonist in search of lost ‘meaning.’ Quickly this is followed by action as we learn that the future is built on “Bullets and Rocks.”
Like the two opening numbers each song comes out with a story that rolls the images and music along creating both desolation and hope in their own time. By the time that “Follow The River” sends out its final notes your left with the impression that life has no simple resolution. Yes our hero has been successful in their search, but while this chapter closes, the story itself continues long afterward.
Released only a couple weeks back, you can find three different vinyl versions of Edge Of The Sun.
Regular black vinyl
180 gram black vinyl
Limited (2500) two coloured vinyl discs in blue and turquoise… but good luck on this, numerous on sale in Europe, but here it’s already got an asking price over $75.00
(P.S. – If interested, you might try ordering through Rough Trade. They may have a couple copies left.)