(Carried To Dust, 2008)
This has a wonderfully autumnal atmosphere: weary yet hopeful, doleful yet content, bleak yet beautiful, like a landscape. Is that possible? It sounds country to me, and I'm not talking about the keening, reverb-drenched steel guitar that swoops and glides in the background like a flock of starlings. I mean it sounds like it's made in the country and about the country. I'd say it sounds rural. Again, I couldn't tell you what the song is about, but it makes me think of the cycle of the seasons.
One of the best sources of new music over the decade has been my good friend Paul Smith and many of the tracks on this list first came to my notice via his periodic compilations. Thank heavens for his efforts and short attention span, I say. Calexico is a band I'd heard of before - even heard before - but had never really caught my attention. Truth to tell, they still haven't. It's just this track.
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