Say Psych: Album Review: Mint Field – Pasar De Las Luces

Rating: 7/10

Tijuana is a border town with a storied history – sometimes a history of union, sometimes of violence, that allows it to have a hybrid culture with many vibrant scenes and artists that have defied their borders. Mint Field believe their roots are in the city but are not defined by it.

Amor met Estrella when the pair had barely reached their twenties and they decided to start a band. They had a rough idea of how to play their instruments, but shared a passion for shoegaze, indie rock & had tons of enthusiasm. Their sound is organic, with Estrella’s voice evoking an ethereal world of beautiful melancholy. Since recording their initial EP Primeras Salidas in 2015, Mint Field have played Coachella, SXSW and have extensively toured the US and Mexico.

In the summer of 2017 the band travelled to Detroit to record with producer Christopher Koltay. Pasar De Las Luces channels the bands inspirations and influences to transmit sentiments of profound sorrow, nostalgia and beauty, revisiting sounds from the past to make them contemporary. The LP will be released on 23rd February on Innovative Leisure Records.

Opening with ‘El Parque Parecía No Tener Fin’, a repetitive track with post punk inclinations juxtaposed by the Spanish lyrics and buoyant guitar melody. ‘Ojos En El Carro’ layers hypnotic drum rolls, haunting guitar harmonies and is topped by an alluring vocal melody. The track exudes minimalism whilst creating beauty. ‘Ciudad Satélite’ offers up a throbbing bass line which anchors the track whilst the other musical elements flutters across the surface, creating a sense of depth to the sound. ‘Temporada De Jacarandas’ adds a synth element before immersing the listener into lead track ‘Quiero Otoño De Nuevo’ is a voyage into the krautrock realms with a motorik drum beat that channels more than just a little of the Neu! essence. Add hazy swirls and a captivating riff and you have a piece that will draw more than just a little attention.

‘Cambios Del Pasar’ utilises a sound reminiscent of the great Yo La Tengo whilst maintaining their own blend of distorted noise before the slower ‘Viceversa’ shimmers harmoniously with smatterings of percussion employed effectively to create a tide like feeling and ‘Nostalgia’ continues in this vein while adding a refined vocal melody to the short track. ‘Boötes Void’ picks up the pace and adds a shoegaze element with phasing guitar and delayed vocals whilst ‘Nada Es Estático y Evoluciona’ is a track that builds as it progresses.

‘Club De Chicas’ starts slow before a rolling motorik launches the track into a fast paced krautrock enthused number with plenty of guitar effects and a playful change mid-track comes as an intriguing and welcome surprise. ‘Para Gali’ and ‘Párpados Morados’ conclude the album and capture the essence of Mint Field beautifully, leaving a lingering sensation of resonation deep within.

Mint Field have created a sound somewhat different to that being touted currently, making them stand out from the crowd. They effortlessly explore different styles without compromising their identities.


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