Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. This week’s selections are chosen by all three of our daytime DJ’s. Today’s feature is “Two Silver Trees” by Calexico, available on their new album, Carried to Dust, out on Quarterstick Records now.
Calexico has always been more than adept at evoking their native Arizona, crafting a distinct brand of Southwestern indie-rock that places their listeners in the stark, at times barren landscapes that exist there. “Two Silver Trees” is no different. Though the song begins with an effervescent, almost fairy-dust sprinkling of harp strings, it quickly descends in to far darker territory. With a noirish bassline lurking in the background, this is song wrapped in shadowy, vaguely criminal deeds done in the dark of night. Joey Burns vocals are lowered to a cigarette-soaked rasp here, allowing “Two Silver Trees” to ooze a seedy, almost dangerous quiet. The barely-existent pluck of the guitar, the thick intermittent churn of the piano, all help to heighten this mood, drawing images of ill-intent filled late night drives through the high deserts of the Southwest. Calexico are currently touring in Europe before returning to the US through the end of November. In January of 2008, the band will return to Europe. Here’s the video for “Two Silver Trees: