Desert noir is a style of music and art inspired directly by the desert and characterized by vast landscapes, mysticism, and a sense of foreboding. The term draws from the themes of film noir and western noir but with a closer tie to the expanse of the desert. It has been used to describe literature, film and music.
Examples of usage
The Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature from the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association critiqued "The Desert Noir Detective Novels of Jon Talton".
The Times described scenes from the 2016 film, Nocturnal Animals as "desert noir meets modern melodrama".
The Guardian referenced the "desert-noir thriller No Country for Old Men".
The music of Still Corners and its 2021 album, The Last Exit, has been described as "desert noir". American Songwriter described the band as "Desert noir purveyors" and highlighted the "sense of remoteness, loneliness and solitude" in the music. The San Francisco Examiner wrote that "multi-instrumentalist Greg Hughes' forlorn Spaghetti-Western guitar gallops across a desolate sonic landscape, while bandmate Tessa Murray's ethereal vocals recount the story of a ghostly desert hitchhiker who's not the optimum traveling companion."
The music of Calexico has also been described as "desert noir", "a layering of people's obscure histories and mythic drams". Phoenix New Times expanded on this when describing the band's 1998 album, The Black Light as "an album that reshapes conventional notions about how setting can influence art, as the record manages to create a musical landscape as harsh, wondrous and intriguing as the desert itself".
- Foster, David William (2007). "The Desert Noir Detective Novels of Jon Talton". JSTOR. 61 (1): 73–83. JSTOR 20058144. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
- "The Times Film Club: Nocturnal Animals". The Times. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
- "Brace yourself, more Cormac McCarthy adaptations are coming down the road". TheGuardian. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
- "'Desert Noir' Purveyors Still Corners Craft Haunting Music On Their Fifth And Finest Release". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
- "'Lush sounds on Still Corners' 'The Last Exit'". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
- "Calexico Explores the ambient world, from desert noir to the streets of historic L.A." LA Weekly. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
- "Desert Noir". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 2021-02-07.
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