'We can waltz as much as you can handle, for all your faults can't hold the candle, compared to the wonders of you' Giant Giant Sand creep through the doorframe as waves of insouciant instrumentation break on the shore; the opening track to new album Tucson 'Wind Blown Waltz'. Formed in Tucson, Arizona (1985) by principle songwriter Howe Gelb, this stalwart outfit changes like the seasons. Whether that be the low-Autumnal sun of debut album Valley Of Rain, being eclipsed by ex-members in the form of Calexico or esteemed contributors like PJ Harvey, M Ward, and Victoria Williams falling like the last leaves on a frosty morn – it is hard to guarantee where Giant Giant Sand will be whenever they decide to rear their head (or add an extra 'Giant' to their name).

I'll have you know that Tucson is their twenty-sixth release, and it contains a wealth of nineteen tracks (geez, Louise) but would you really expect anything different from the robust act? It guarantees that the record will be an interesting addition to a back catalogue that includes Marianne Dissard's 1994 documentary 'Drunken Bees' which follows the band closely.

A melancholy quality clasps the soul of the album; whether that be the centred-baritone vocal or the stunning guitar melodies, there's something instantly bittersweet about the release. We can hear faltering qualities to Gelb's voice, and the lyrics are at times are inconsistent, but when both elements align, they really do impress: 'Mostly Wrong' is a beautiful moment on Tucson. Due to the sheer amount of material on the album, quality is expected to be compromised, but interestingly the themes are somewhat convoluted. 'Recovery Mission' is a heart-throbbing track which insists human fragility; it uses both a child choir and child's speech to help everybody with the message – then a mismatch comes in the form of crooner number 'Not The End Of The World'. We hear about being 'alone and lost in the dark' but instead of stopping there, 'the world begins again in that spark'. I can have no complaint with that.

The meat of the album is more expected, jaunty Americana numbers doused in rusty guitar, saloon pianos, warm snares and relaxed melodies: even when Gelb uses his strong-baritone to bring light to the tracks, they're more foot-tapping than gut-wrenching. Latin-esque brisk number 'Carinito' is an example of a group who have let this many tracks reach the album; it really has no place on Tucson, but is completely enjoyable and offers something totally different. Even the delicate duets throughout encapsulate the span of ventures of Giant Giant Sand, and when the lead is gifted to another vocalist it feels somewhat suitable: 'Ready Or Not'.

The reason that there's such a stable platform for the somewhat stripped songwriting to ensue itself upon is the production. It is easy to ignore the sound of a record like this, as it's in no way defined by this element, but throughout the drums are delightfully low-fi and the headroom around the guitars is terrific.

Whilst there are some abrupt, folk-induced, pop songs on the record, the finer moments are found in the rootsier, self-depricating moments. Blooming instrumentation, healthy cynicism, and a hand on the shoulder characterise what Giant Giant Sand is defined by and you see them burst into colour on Tucson. It's unfortunate that there are some elongated synthetic gleams which stop this album from being a great one: sometimes Gelb's monologues make you squint, and the poor tracks on the record stick out like a sore thumb. In reality, it's funny how things come full- circle; at a time where this album is so wholly appropriate with their folk-contemporaries, Gelb isn't interested and ensured in a recent interview that "music has always been about handing it over – music as evolution, it has to keep changing." Giant Giant Sand, instead of succumbing to a trend, will cut through with more long-form work that warrants time and devotion - that sentiment is echoed wholly throughout Tucson, which never stops evolving.