Mint Field - Pasar De Las Luces album review

Tijuana shoegazers channel the greats

Mint Field - Pasar De Las Luces album artwork

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Mexicans are building a wall… of sound. Mint Field are two 21-year-old females from Tijuana who have the brass to replicate the late 80s UK shoegaze sound with a mix of clinical reverence and improvisational bravado. Amor Amezcua (synths, drums) and Estrella Sánchez (wispy vocals, guitars) met in high school and have already played Coachella and toured with Ice Age. Their debut album, produced in Detroit by Christopher Koltay, is an unapologetic homage to their inspirations. Americans are arguably more familiar, or comfortable, with the phrase ‘dream pop’ than shoegaze, and that feels more appropriate for their reverberating reveries that dig away at looped riffs until silvery slivers of emotion are unearthed. There’s a lush aura to the whole, and if it threatens to slump into one-trick-pony repetition after a few tracks, they save the day by detouring into Krautrock on Quiero Otoño de Nuevo, or more melancholy moods on Viceversa. It’s hard to tell whether their fuzzed-up echoes are aimed at nostalgists or if they’re a generation too young to remember Slowdive, but bar some over-fiddly drum fills, they bring a freshness onto a well-worn pitch.

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.