Mint Field

Pasar de las Luces

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Pasar de las Luces is the first full-length from Mint Field, a Mexican duo who play a gloriously downcast form of dream pop. Estrella Sanchez and Amor Amezcua were barely in their twenties when they recorded the album, and their music brilliantly channels the frustration, hopelessness, and sorrow of their young adult years. Their songs are spacious and cloudy, with chiming guitars bathed in effects and longing, angelic vocals. The lyrics appear to be sung entirely in Spanish, but it's hard to discern if Sanchez is even singing words most of the time; vocals appear intermittently when they need to, and even then, they seem to hover on the edge of consciousness. This seems to be more about pure expression than direct communication. The duo's songs typically stretch out to five or six minutes each, unfolding at their own pace rather than conforming to traditional song structures. However, they never seem like they're meandering, and as abstract as they are, they're still quite accessible. They always seem to arrive somewhere, and when they do pile on the noisy guitar effects, it's always at the right moment. While most of the songs are slow and brooding, the uptempo "Quiero Otoño de Nuevo" is a brisk homage to Neu!, with Sanchez's vocals disappearing under the breezy Motorik rhythm. The dramatic high point of the album is "Club de Chicas," which erupts into a furious storm early on, only to break down and venture into a spiral of despair. This continues with the final two songs, concluding with "Párpados Morados," which brings to mind Cranes and Slowdive, but sounds far more dejected and lost. Mint Field's gloominess is very real and relatable, and their debut is a truly remarkable work of art.

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