Since forming out of the rhythm section of L.A.'s Giant Sand, Calexico's eight studio albums to date have strayed far from the Americana with which they introduced themselves on 1996's Spoke (actually released as a self-titled effort, before taking the Calexico moniker), taking in traditional Latin sounds, from mariachi to tejano, and have ranged as far as early jazz and noughties post-rock.
Wherever they've landed on each release, though, their songs have consistently evoked a beautiful history, of wanderers and great adventures, doomed loves and border crossings. As you might expect from a band named after an old Californian border town, Calexico's sound is one rooted in the stories and sounds of the American Southwest. That said, for their most recent effort, the beautiful Algiers, Burns and Convertino, the duo at the heart of the band for nearly two decades now, crossed the States to New Orleans, the storied, legendary city with a past to match their homeland for tales of love and loss.
Whilst Algiers doesn't offer much development on that classic Calexico sound, it remains as beautifully crafted and dreamily listenable as everything they've recorded – over 8 albums, they are remarkable for their consistency in turning out songs that burrow right into your ear, and stay there. Try 2008's Carried To Dust for a taste of the band at their best, and see if you're not convinced to head down to Shepherds Bush next Spring to take in a rare UK appearance by a band who've long been wildly underrated this side of the pond.
|What||Calexico at Shepherd's Bush Empire|
|Where||Shepherd's Bush Empire, Shepherd's Bush Green, London, W12 8TT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Goldhawk Road (underground)|
On 28 Apr 15, 7:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£22.50 + booking|
|Website||Click here for tickets (via GigsAndTours)|