Calexico / Iron & Wine – Years To Burn

CIW

Sometimes the waiting can seem endless. But be patient and in time everything will turn out right. It’s been fourteen years since the last outing by Calexico / Iron & Wine. That’s long enough for Chinese Democracy to appear (boo!), Kate Bush to play live (hurrah!), and for The Rolling Stones to have embarked upon about five farewell tours (meh!). In fairness, neither Calexico nor Iron & Wine has been taking it easy during that period. Between them they’ve put out no fewer than nine albums of original material. Sure, Sam Beam has also released two other collaborations, curated two full volumes of his archives, and found time to have his portrait painted. With so much going on, it’d be easy to think that Years To Burn was merely a vanity side project containing left-over material. But it’s nothing of the sort. ‘In Your Own Time’ is a lovely, fluid-sounding partnership of equals. ‘Follow The Water’ is a classic-sounding Iron & Wine track that’s only enhanced by the twosome from Tucson. But perhaps the highlight is ‘The Bitter Suite (Pájaro / Evil Eye / Tennessee Train)’, which is a sort of dystopian mini-Smile set in the Arizona desert. (Maybe). Years To Burn reminds us that even though the waiting can sometimes seem endless, some things are well worth waiting for.