Album of the day: Mint Field, “Pasar De Las Luces”

“An ex-professional bowler hailing from Tijuana” might sound like the background of a Coen Brothers character, but it’s actually the bio of 21-year-old Estrella Sanchez, lead singer and guitarist in Mint Field. The band—rounded out by Sanchez’s childhood friend Amor Amezcua, a self-confessed synth geek and drummer—formed when Sanchez and Amezcua were still in high school. They released an EP in 2015 and, from the sound of Pasar De Las Luces, have spent the intervening three years expanding and honing their blend of woozy shoegaze, dreamy psychedelia, and immersive ambience.

Pasar is an album rich with texture; on “Ojos En El Carro,” a Grouper-like fog of ambience forms first, giving way to thick throbs of guitar. The band’s strength is their ability to effortlessly merge echo-laden guitars with breathy vocals. “Ciudad Satélite” unfurls over the course of six-plus minutes, opening up to create a glorious, Slowdive-like spiral of guitars. On “Quiero Otoño De Nuevo,” pounding, lockstep drums propel looping guitars, edging the group toward psychedelia. On “Boötes Void” and “Viceversa,” Sanchez’s voice becomes another instrument, her often wordless vocals wrapping themselves gently around rippling guitars.

Mint Field’s influences are often apparent, but Pasar De Las Luces doesn’t revive familiar sounds; it revisits them to rediscover their power, and to use it to build new worlds.

-Daniel Dylan Wray

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