12 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After 18 years of marching to the beat of their own drummer (and mariachi horns), the indie rock band Calexico hooked up with an orchestra for a number of live recordings, in an intimate space, in exploration of grander possibilities. Spiritoso is a scintillating, glittering series of tunes that show the band expanding on everything that's come before, with panache. From the opening swells of “Frontera/Trigger,” a blend of two of their oldest songs (from 1998’s The Black Light) to the gently billowing “Fortune Teller” (from 2012’s Algiers), these beautiful works suffer none of the drawbacks that live shows often engender, nor do they imply a band at a creative crossroads or dead end. Marrying that mariachi and tumbleweed aesthetic that Calexico is known for with swooning cellos and echoing tympani seems like the most natural thing in the world, and this set does an admirable job transporting the listener. These sessions took place in Germany with the Radio Symphonic Orchestra Vienna and the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After 18 years of marching to the beat of their own drummer (and mariachi horns), the indie rock band Calexico hooked up with an orchestra for a number of live recordings, in an intimate space, in exploration of grander possibilities. Spiritoso is a scintillating, glittering series of tunes that show the band expanding on everything that's come before, with panache. From the opening swells of “Frontera/Trigger,” a blend of two of their oldest songs (from 1998’s The Black Light) to the gently billowing “Fortune Teller” (from 2012’s Algiers), these beautiful works suffer none of the drawbacks that live shows often engender, nor do they imply a band at a creative crossroads or dead end. Marrying that mariachi and tumbleweed aesthetic that Calexico is known for with swooning cellos and echoing tympani seems like the most natural thing in the world, and this set does an admirable job transporting the listener. These sessions took place in Germany with the Radio Symphonic Orchestra Vienna and the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg.

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