Pasar De Las Luces by Mint Field

Release date: February 23, 2018
Label: Innovative Leisure Records

Mexico is not a country known for a Shoegazing history. The popular view of sun, sand and vibrancy does not sit well with a genre drenched in melancholy. Yet, under the surface there is actually a rather expansive scene establishing itself, a big part of which is Tijuana based duo Mint Field. Formed by 21-year-olds Estrella Sanchez and Amor Amezcua, Mint Field have already found themselves gaining acclaim, playing on the bill at some high profile American festivals even before the release of Pasar De Las Luces, their first full album. If there’s any justice this record should propel the band to even bigger stages.

From the first minute the record is a masterclass in chilled out psychedelia. The band has developed a smooth, textured guitar tone, creating dreamy soundscapes that it is so easy to get lost in. The music is relaxing, with groovy baselines ebbing into a cultured sound with very few jagged edges. It sounds even better coupled with Sanchez’ beautiful voice, channelling vocal styles from spoken word (such as on opener ‘El Parque Parecía No Tener Fin’) to the angelic shrieking she belts out on ‘Boötes Void’. Not understanding the lyrics is no barrier for those of us who don’t speak Spanish – the beautiful melancholy conveys emotion far better than any lyrics ever could.

Though clearly influenced by their Mexican surroundings, the band evidently draws more inspiration from their Shoegazing peers. There is a faint whiff of Amesoeurs about their sound, although the band never comes close to that level of black metal heaviness. That’s not to say they can’t rock out however – ‘Club De Chicas’ is eventually the fastest song on the album, and really showcases what the band can do when they kick back. At other points, such as on ‘Nostalgia’, the band veers into a droning, noisy sound, layered with repetitive lyrics, but at no point does the duo lose their sense of melody.

It all comes together to form an incredibly cohesive album. For such young women, Sanchez and Amezcua have a fantastic sense of emotion. Pasar De Las Luces is a bold, assured first album, a masterclass in melancholy musing; and with a beautiful weapon like Sanchez’ angelic voice in their arsenal, Mint Field are a band to watch.

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