And such is the opening line of ‘Slowness’, my favourite track from Calexico’s 2008 release Carried To Dust. These guys are from Arizona and they’re all about the alt-country rock stuff. This was an album that made an appearance on many 2008 year end lists, and after repeated listens over the last few days I can certainly understand why. It’s the kind of album that takes its time to slowly seep its way under your skin, but before you know it, you’re humming along and anticipating that next subtle twangy note. It’s an amazingly calming listen, which isn’t to say that it’s boring, far from it. It’s warm and lush and when you can get past the gorgeous instrumentation and pay attention to the lyrics as well, seriously romantic pictures of life on the road spring unbidden into your head.
In addition to the beautiful ‘Slowness’, a song about a late night drive that features female vocals and some seriously yearning pedal steel, ‘Writers Minor Holiday’ is also a favourite. I also can’t help but love the instrumental ‘El Gatillo (Trigger Revisited)’, a track featuring a whistling part that always calls to mind DeVotchKa’s efforts on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack.
I’ve seen Calexico and this album labelled as ‘Americana’, a term and genre that I’ve always considered myself not to like, but if this is Americana, then perhaps I do like it after all. Check it out.