Personnel: Ryan Alfred (vocals, synthesizer, upright bass, electric bass); Sergio Mendoza (guitar, ukulele, vihuela, accordion, piano, organ, vibraphone, percussion, background vocals); Jairo Zavala (guitar); Joey Burns (guitars, banjo, ukulele, cello, harmonica, accordion, organ, congas, shaker); Martin Wenk (trumpet, synthesizer, vibraphone); Jacob Valenzuela (trumpet); John Convertino (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Craig Schumacher.
Recording information: Black Diamond Studio, Mexico City, Mexico; EMP, North Hollywood, CA; Fresno Estudio, Coyoacán; Lizard Sound, Athens, Greece; South Carolina; Studio La Panchita, Barcelona; Wavelab Studio; Winslow Court Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Sergio Mendoza.
Calexico have had a chiaroscuro career: after each of the band's more somber efforts, they tend to return with something lighthearted. Such is the case with Edge of the Sun: arriving after Algiers' journey into New Orleans noir, it feels like a working holiday -- probably because it was close to one, with Joey Burns, John Convertino, and company spending ten days in Coyoacán, a Mexico City borough, for inspiration (later on, they recorded in Los Angeles and Athens, among other locales). Despite its Mexican beginnings, Edge of the Sun often tips toward Calexico's affable Americana, with particular success on "Falling from the Sky"'s tumbleweed pop and on the gently insistent "Tapping on the Line," which is elevated by Neko Case's clarion vocals. On these tracks, Edge of the Sun recalls Garden Ruin and Feast of Wire, although the latter album negotiated its sonic and emotional twists with more drama. On the other hand, the gentle melancholy of "Follow the River" and the squinty-eyed, implosive "Bullets & Rocks" feel as genuine as "Cumbia de Donde," a vibrant celebration of the footloose life. As always, Edge of the Sun is beautifully crafted, from the gorgeous arrangements and chord changes on "Coyoacán" and "Woodshed Waltz" to "Miles from the Sea"'s poignant lyrics, which fall somewhere between a short story and a lullaby. ~ Heather Phares