Calexico Release Their 10th Album

This year, Calexico are celebrating a quarter of a century of making music. The band, pioneered by multi-instrumentalist Joey Burns and John Convertino, celebrated with the release of their 10th studio record El Mirador this Friday. The band’s sound has always been heavily influenced by the desert, especially the colorful spectrum of sounds found on the border– from Columbian dance (cumbia) to Mexican folk (mariachi). The new record also has some help from Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno and Spanish rocker Jairo Zavala on select tracks.

The opening track and title track enlists Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam on the harmonies. “El Mirador” sets the precedent with Convertino’s masterful beats and Burns careful touches of synth, vibes, and cello. Dive a couple tracks deeper and you’ll hear the Mexican Institute of Sound singing, “Tan solo recuerda, mamá / Te doy lo que quieras y más” over a mix of electronic sounds, driving rhythms and organic instrumentation on the track “Cumbia Del Polvo.”

Overall, El Mirador is a clever culmination of what Calexico has created over the past 25 years. It is a celebration, but more importantly, a rumination. In English, the title of the record roughly translates to “The lookout” or “The viewer.” The record reflects this with self-examination found as a common theme throughout. Despite much of the record having been recorded remotely either from their homes or their producer’s home studio, the record covers a wide array of moods and atmospheres.