Named after the neighbourhood in New Orleans where it was recorded, ‘Algiers’ is a Calexico album unlike any other. More forceful, immediate and polished, whilst still possessing the bewitching musical interplays of old, it could draw in those who’ve yet to succumb to the band’s many charms. Having previously accentuated their Latin influences, this is an altogether more accessible outing, foregrounding Joey Burns’ soulful vocals atop upbeat guitar refrains and organ stabs which evoke Springsteen and Costello. ‘Splitter’ takes the customary brass and uses it to delicately reinforce the melody on what is as close to an American driving tune as Calexico have ever ventured.
Words by GARETH JAMES