The charm of Marfa does not take long to take hold. On a recent weekday afternoon, I drove to the West Texas town, leaving the rugged peaks of the state’s pie-slice panhandle behind on long strips of flat blacktop that cut across the scrubby Chihuahuan Desert like tightropes. Maybe it was the blessed mix of sunshine and breeze or the pregnant stillness that seemed to lurk in the streets of the community of about 2,000 people, but everything felt suddenly at ease and open. During the last several decades, Marfa has become famous as an unexpected artist’s outpost, where city folks (sometimes controversially) move to make a permanent vacation of their vocation. And so, the outlandish happens—massive minimalist sculptures stand amid the chaparral, edgy art galleries thrive in abandoned adobe buildings, and an evocative Prada store simulacrum stands 30 miles outside of town. Wandering the streets, having a drink, or even buying groceries, I got the inexplicable sense that everything was possible, that here people had space and time to ponder something different.
That sense of sacred possibility presides over Myths 003, a little seven-song wonder conceived and cut by members of Sweden’s Dungen and Brooklyn’s Woods in 2017. It is the third and best edition of Mexican Summer’s annual Myths series, each of which has been recorded together by two acts during a weeklong residency ahead of the label’s Marfa Myths festival each spring. The event is a bit like a post-South by Southwest exhalation, a smartly conceived escape from the grab-bag madness of Austin; like its host, this festival seems more concerned with creativity than commerce.