Calexico and Iron & Wine Announce ‘Years to Burn’ + Release “Father Mountain”

Calexico and Iron & Wine today announce Years to Burn, their first full–length album together, available June 14th via City Slang in the UK/Europe and Sub Pop in the rest of the world. A lead track entitled “Father Mountain” has been shared HERE and an extensive North American, European, and UK tour has been announced with more dates to be added in the coming weeks. See all dates below.

Listen to “Father Mountain”



Apple Music

Calexico and Iron & Wine first made an artistic connection with In the Reins, the 2005 EP that brought Sam Beam, Joey Burns and John Convertino together. The acclaimed collaboration introduced both acts to wider audiences and broadened Beam’s artistic horizons, but it was the shared experience of touring together in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” that cemented the bond. Their metaphorical roads diverged in the years that followed, but they kept in touch and cross-pollinated where they could. Although they often talked about rekindling their collaboration in the studio and on stage, it wasn’t until last year that their schedules aligned.

Years to Burn can’t help but be different from In the Reins. Back then, Calexico entered the studio with a long list of previous collaborations (first in Giant Sand, then backing the likes of Victoria Williams and Richard Buckner) and the knowledge that they loved Sam’s voice and his songs, but wondered if his material was so complete and self-contained that it lacked a way in, so hushed and delicate that it might be overwhelmed. For his part, Beam had been intimidated by their virtuosic playing and their deep comfort in an encyclopedic array of styles. “In my mind, I was a guy who knew three chords and recorded in a closet,” Sam says. “They were playing big stages and were superb musicians.”

Those fears were dispelled quickly. Calexico was bowled over by Beam’s many talents: “The arranging, the writing, his sense of rhythm, the quality of his vocals—and then there’s the experimental side of Sam,” Joey says. “They were the perfect band at the perfect time for me,” Sam adds. “I loved all their different sounds. They’re musical anthropologists, not regurgitating but absorbing what they discover.” Nearly 15 years on, “coming back to the project has to do with acknowledging how much impact the first record had for me in my life.”

Years to Burn was recorded in Nashville with noted producer Matt Ross-Spang over the course of five days at Sound Emporium, a fabled studio founded in the sixties by Cowboy Jack Clement and the site of countless landmark sessions in country and rock over the ensuing decades. It features contributions from veteran Calexico trumpet player Jacob Valenzuela and Paul Niehaus on pedal steel, along with frequent Beam cohorts Rob Burger (Tin Hat Trio) on piano and Sebastian Steinberg (Soul Coughing, Fiona Apple) on bass.

Years to Burn features ten new original compositions. While Beam wrote all the songs for In the Reins, this recording features contributions from both Beam and Burns as well as from Convertino and those featured on the record. While the two may have taken differing approaches to songwriting, the spirit of collaboration was alive and well in the studio; Sam shared demos ahead of time and was ready for the others to contribute with arrangement ideas and instrumental parts, while Joey spontaneous as ever, came in with concepts and an eagerness to improvise.

“Life is hard. Awesome. And scary as shit. But it can lift you up if you let it,” Sam offers. “These are the things Joey and I write about now. And the title can encapsulate a lot of things. ‘Years to Burn’ could mean you’re cocky, you’ve got it made. Or, our life is ours to burn, to be inspired. Or you’re burned by life, brutalized. It’s an ambiguous title, because life is complicated. Let’s not talk like teenagers about love, desire, pain, ‘cause we’re not teenagers. And that’s not a bad thing.”

“This project had to find the right time,” Joey concludes. “We’re all different people than we were in 2004, and music helps to bridge some of the gaps. For all the things going on in our world and in each of our lives, this connection, this friendship, this love that we have—this album is a vehicle for that bond. It’s a chance to see where we’re at, take stock and be there for our friends.”

Years to Burn is available June 14th via City Slang in the UK/Europe and Sub Pop in the rest of the world. Album artwork and tracklisting below.

Years to Burn

1. What Heaven’s Left

2. Midnight Sun

3. Father Mountain

4. Outside El Paso

5. Follow The Water

6. The Bitter Suite (Pájaro / Evil Eye / Tennessee Train)

7. Years To Burn

8. In Your Own Time

For more information on Years to Burn, the full bio is available here.

Years to Burn is available for pre-order here.

Calexico and Iron & Wine World Tour Dates

6/18/18 Tue SAXAPAHAW, NC @ River Ballroom

7/19/19 Fri LISBON, PT @ Super Bock Super Rock

7/20/19 Sat ARLESHEIM, CH @ Stimmen Festival

7/22/19 Mon MILANO, IT @ La Triennale di Milano

7/23/19 Tue GARDONE RIVIERA, IT @ Anfiteatro del Vittoriale

7/24/19 Wed ROME, IT @ Villa Ada

7/25/19 Thurs FLORENCE, IT @ Cavea del Nuovo Teatro dell’opera

7/26/19 Fri MONFORTE D’ALBA, IT @ Auditorium Horszowski

7/28/19 Sun VIENNA, AT @ Konzerthaus

7/29/19 Mon PALMA, ES @ Auditorium de Palma de Mallorca

7/31/19 Wed HAMBURG, DE @ Stadtpark

8/2/19 Fri CAMBRIDGE, UK @ Cambridge Folk Festival

8/3/19 Sat LEUVEN, BE @ M-idzommer Festival

8/4/19 Sun CROZON, FR @ Festival Du Bout Du Monde

8/16/19 Fri PHOENIX, AZ @ Orpheum Theatre

8/17/19 Sat TUCSON, AZ @ Rialto Theatre

8/21/19 Wed OGDEN, UT @ Twilight Series at Ogden Amphitheater

8/22/19 Thu BOISE, ID OR @ Knitting Factory

8/23/19 Fri PORTLAND, OR @ Keller Auditorium

8/24/19 Sat VANCOUVER, BC @ Vogue Theatre

9/22/19 Sun NORTH ADAMS, MA @ FreshGrass Festival

11/5/19 Tue UTRECHT, NL @ TrivoliVrendenburg – Ronda

11/6/19 Wed LUXEMBOURG, LU @ Den Atelier

11/7/19 Thu ANTWERP, BE @ De Roma

11/9/19 Sat BERLIN, DE @ Tempodrom

11/10/19 Sun LINZ, AT @ Posthof

11/11/19 Mon MUNICH, DE @ Muffathalle

11/12/19 Tue BUDAPEST, HU @ Müpa

11/14/19 Thu MANNHEIM, DE @ Musensaal Rosengarten

11/15/19 Fri COLOGNE, DE @ Palladium

11/16/19 Sat PARIS, FR @ La Cigale

11/18/19 Mon EDINBURGH, UK @ Usher Hall *

11/19/19 Tue LIVERPOOL, UK @ Philharmonic Hall *

11/20/19 Wed MANCHESTER, UK @ Bridgewater Hall *

11/21/19 Thurs COVENTRY, UK @ Warwick Arts Centre *

11/23/19 Sat LONDON, UK @ Royal Festival Hall *

11/24/19 Sun BEXHILL-ON-SEA, UK – De La Warr Pavillion *

*with support from Lisa O’Neill

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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