The two indie rock icons dropped the single 'Father Mountain' on Thursday (March 21).
More than 14 years after they first collaborated on the 2005 EP In the Reins, beloved indie rock acts Iron & Wine and Calexico are prepping their first full-length joint album, Years to Burn. They've also announced a run of European and North American tour dates.
The eight-track effort, recorded by Calexico's Joey Burns and John Convertino with I&W's Sam Beam, will be released on June 14 on Sub Pop Records, with the first single, the angelic folk song "Father Mountain," available now on streaming services.
According to a press release announcing the project, the three performers crossed paths often over the years following their first collaboration and frequently talked about giving it another shot, but it wasn't until last year that their scheduled synched up and they were able to get over their preconceptions of each other's sound and find a way to fully weave their voices together. “In my mind, I was a guy who knew three chords and recorded in a closet,” said Beam in the statement. “They were playing big stages and were superb musicians."
For their part, the members of Calexico were equally intimiated by the fully formed persona and signature sound created by Beam over eight albums of his hushed, pastoral singing and songwriting. Once they entered Nashville's famed Sound Emporium Studio -- founded in the 1960s by Cowboy Jack Clement -- with producer Matt Ross-Spang, things fell quickly into place according to Convertino, whose Tucson-bred band is known for its patented mix of mariachi, folk, rock, cumbia and tejano.
“The arranging, the writing, his sense of rhythm, the quality of his vocals—and then there’s the experimental side of Sam,” said Burns, with Beam adding, "They were the perfect band at the perfect time for me. I loved all their different sounds. They’re musical anthropologists, not regurgitating but absorbing what they discover...coming back to the project [after 15 years] has to do with acknowledging how much impact the first record had for me in my life.”
Years to Burn features 10 original songs written by all three -- In the Reins was written by Beam -- with Beam coming into the session with demos he'd recorded on his own, while Burns, as usual, was eager to improvise in the studio. “Life is hard. Awesome. And scary as shit. But it can lift you up if you let it,” Beam said. “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.”
The album is available for pre-order here. Check out the track list, "Father Mountain," and tour dates below.
Years to Burn track list:
"What Heaven's Left"
"Outside El Paso"
"Follow The Water"
"The Bitter Suite (Pajaro/Evil Eye/Tennessee Train)"
"Years to Burn"
"In Your Own Time"
Calexico/Iron & Wine tour dates:
June 18 -- Saxapahaw, NC @ River Ballroom
July 19 -- Lisbon, PT @ Super Bock Super Rock
July 20 -- Arlesheim, CH @ Stimmen Festival
July 22 -- Milano, IT @ La Triennale di Milano
July 23 -- Gardone Riviera, IT @ Anfiteatro del Vittoriale
July 24 -- Rome, IT @ Villa Ada
July 25 -- Florence, IT @ Cavea del Nuovo Teatro dell’opera
July 26 -- Monforte D'Alba, IT @ Auditorium Horszowski
July 28 -- Vienna, AT @ Konzerthaus
July 29 -- Palma, ES @ Auditorium de Palma de Mallorca
July 31 -- Hamburg, DE @ Stadtpark
Aug. 2 -- Cambridge, UK @ Cambridge Folk Festival
Aug. 3 -- Leuven, BE @ M-idzommer Festival
Aug. 4 -- Crozon, FR @ Festival Du Bout Du Monde
Aug. 16 -- Phoenix, AZ @ Orpheum Theatre
Aug. 17 -- Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
Aug. 21 -- Ogden, UT @ Twilight Series at Ogden Amphitheater