Single Reviews

Single Review: Calexico – Victor Jara’s Hands & Writer’s Minor Holiday (City Slang)

By | Published on Monday 8 December 2008


One of my favourite qualities in a song is the ability to effortlessly conjure a scene in the listener’s head. With a slow maracas and guitar build up setting the eerie spaced out backdrop, by the time Victor Jara’s Hands picks up into a mid-paced middle section you find yourself yearning for the dark isolation of the desert road from California to Mexico (Calexico anyone?). The Hispanic influences indeed stretch further than the simple ‘Ole ole ole ole’ chorus (that, before you level your cliché accusations, sounds far from cheap) with bright horn sections driving the song nicely. ‘Writer’s Holiday’ plays down this new direction somewhat more, but embracing such elements into their songwriting process could see this band finally managing to step out of friend Iron & Wine’s shadow. ME

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