Tucson, Arizona’s venerable rock band Calexico announced today the release of their newest album The Thread That Keeps Us, out January 26th via Anti- Records. Their ninth studio album is the followup to 2015’s critically acclaimed Edge of Sun. Working with their longtime engineer Craig Schumacher, Calexico co-produced The Thread That Keeps Us, gathering musicians from across the globe to dream up an earthy yet expansive sound spiked with jagged guitar tones and flashes of distortion. Pre-order the album HERE.
The album mostly came to life in a house studio near the Northern California coast. Known as the Panoramic House but nicknamed “Phantom Ship” by Calexico vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino, the sprawling Stinson Beach home was built partly from shipyard-salvaged timber and cobblestones unearthed from the streets of San Francisco.
The drama of that landscape directly influenced the lead single and opening track to The Thread That Keeps Us. Driven by sing-song melody and galloping rhythms, “End of the World With You” finds an unlikely romanticism in volatile times. With its lyrics illuminating “love in the age of the extremes,” the track feels equally joyful and grim: the perfect intro to an album that endlessly explores the contrast between bright and dark, hope and fear.
Watch the “End of the World With You” lyric video HERE.
Like “End of the World with You,” much of The Thread That Keeps Us captures the anxieties and unease of living in tumultuous times. But while the album draws a kinetic energy from all that uncertainty, its lyrics unfold with a literary nuance and sense of setting and character.
On the making of the album, co-founder Joey Burns says, “There’s a little more chaos and noise in the mix than what we’ve done in the past,” Burns points out. Although that chaos has much to do with “where we’re at right now as a planet,” it also echoes Calexico’s dedication to constant experimentation. “Whenever we’re writing and we come up with something that feels too familiar, someone will end up saying, ‘That feels good, but let’s keep going and see what else we can uncover,'” Burns says. “It’s been really important to the arc of this band’s evolution for us to always keep on trying new things.”