Desert Noir

Written by Niki D'Andrea Category: Arts Issue: October 2015
Group Free

HEAR IT: Sometimes described as “desert noir,” the sonic stylings of Tucson-based band Calexico are more colorful than our sepia-toned sands and encompass more diversity than a U.S. Census Bureau survey checklist. Part Americana, part folk, a tad Tex-Mex, a touch Tejano, a little bit country, a little bit jazz, and a whole lot indie-rock, Calexico embodies the idea of an audible melting pot bubbling in the Arizona sun. Their ninth and most recent studio album, Edge of the Sun, goes global with guest appearances by members of the Greek instrumental band Takim and builds on Calexico’s sonic landscapes of the desert as a dark and deep motif, layering a litany of instruments, from violins to gritty guitars to hand-pounded drums, into songs celebrating such things as “Bullets & Rocks” and “Cumbia de Donde.” Expect a similar superposition of sound in their live show.