Mint Field – Pasar de las Luces
The Tijuana duo announce their arrival with an impressive and immersive debut
Mexican duo Mint Field have been building a following and nurturing the hype gently for a couple of years now, and have finally emerged with a finely crafted, sonically beautiful debut album. Pasar de las Luces draws inspiration from across the post-rock/shoegaze spectrum of guitar music and while never shy of borrowing from the playbook of its parent albums, it never – unlike so much similar music – descends into pastiche.
Estrella Sanchez’s ethereal, echoing vocals' interplay with Amor Amezcua’s woozy synth soundscapes is a near-constant across the album, helping to tie the work together thematically into a coherent, immersive whole. That said, individual tracks tend to nestle into different categories and moods. Opener El Parque Parecía No Tener Fin is more than a little reminiscent of Bowie’s Blackstar, while the bass riff on Ciudad Satélite is a subtler, more interesting cousin to Explosions in the Sky. The motorik drumbeat which drives Quiero Otoño de Nuevo is a rare moment of high tempo and in turn an album highlight.
The midsection of the album blends into a beautiful, melancholy soundscape which peaks in the loud/quiet/loud Boötes Void, but begins to drag by the time Club de Chicas roars into life, all soaring feedback and rapid drumming. It’s a cathartic release from the tension built up over the preceding few tracks.
Pasar de las Luces is over an hour in length, and while it is immersive and layered enough to justify a long run time, it still feels overlong. Nevertheless, it's a thoughtful and aurally beautiful album.
Listen to: Quiero Otoño de Nuevo, Boötes Void, Club de Chicas