LISTEN: Mint Field – ‘Natural’

A hazy, off-kilter musing on the fluidity of language and life; Mint Field have shared their latest single, ‘Natural’. Released via Felte Records, the Mexico City-based group blur gritty guitar distortion with Estrella del Sol Sanchez’s gentle vocals to create their beguiling, grungy sounds.

Now formed of Estrella, Sebastian Neyra, and Callum Brown (Ulrika Spacek); Mint Field have moved cities and re-shuffled their line-up over the last year. Originally from the Mexican border town of Tijuana, the band now reside in Mexico City, and continue to create dreamy, distorted soundscapes. New track ‘Natural’ is a shining example of this, with its unusual rhythm section and layers of guitar. This is also the first time the band have introduced violin, strings and saxophone on to a track, with the help of guest collaborators Cathy Lucas (Vanishing Twin) and Nathan Pigott.

‘Natural’ is accompanied by a set of visuals (shot before the current lockdown), directed by Daniela Solis and Maria Ramirez. The footage captures the natural movement of light as time elapses, reflecting the themes of fluency and self-awareness within the song. The video was shot “all natural” too, with no post production effects. Watch the video below, and follow Mint Field on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Mint Field

A soothing tonic for minds that are scarred from the stresses of modern life; Tijuana-based psych trio Mint Field have shared their new EP Mientras Esperas via Innovative Leisure. Translated roughly as “While Waiting”, their new release focuses on themes of connection with the modern world, and how our own well-being is affected by it.

Following the success of their 2018 debut Pasar de la Luces, and now with bass player Sebastian Neyra on board; Amor Amezcua and Estrella del Sol Sánchez continue to make thought provoking music with a shoegazey, dream-pop feel. We asked the band to share their “Five Favourites” – five artists or albums that have influenced their songwriting techniques. Check out their choices below, and make sure you listen to Mientras Esperas at the end of this post.

1. Beak – <<
We have no memory of coming across this album or how we discovered it, it’s as if it magically appeared in our files. We heard this album together so much last year while we were touring and we got to see Beak for the first time in Desert Daze, such an epic show. They’re definitely one of our biggest influences.

2. Kikagaku Moyo – House in the Tall Grass
We first heard Kikagaku Moyo when we were recording our debut album, Pasar de las Luces, in Detroit. Chris Koltay, our producer, has a big wall and drawers foiled with vinyl collections and one of the LP’s he put one day was this one. Ever since then, we became big fans of them. We got to see them in Desert Daze last year too and it was such a great show – they’re such a good live band.

3. Ulrika Spacek – Modern English Decoration
Ulrika’s new EP is so nice, we loved their last album as well but this one is more significant because of the fact that we got to tour with them across America last year after they released their EP. We became good friends with them and it was a gift to see them play every night, they’re a really great live band.

4. Helvetia – Helvetia’s Junk Shop
We discovered this band and album when we were touring with Ulrika Spacek, it was in one of their road trip playlists and we’ve been listening to them ever since. It has such good drums and melodies.

5. Lorelle Meets the Obsolete – De Facto
We have been fans of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete for quite some time now and this is their new album. We really loved it, specially the two last songs – they’re so good, as is the whole album really. We definitely recommend this band that also happens to be from Mexico.

Thanks to Mint Field for sharing their favourites with us! Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Adriana Tangassi

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Mint Field – ‘Jardin de la Paz’

A soothing tonic for minds that are scarred from the stresses of modern life; Tijuana-based psych trio Mint Field have shared their new single ‘Jardin de la Paz’. Translating roughly as ‘Peace Garden’, the track is taken from the band’s upcoming EP Mientras Esperas, set for release on 1st March 1st via Innovative Leisure.

Following the success of their 2018 debut Pasar de la Luces, and now with bass player Sebastian Neyra on board; Amor Amezcua and Estrella del Sol Sánchez continue to make thought provoking music with a shoegaze, dream-pop feel. Their new EP focuses on themes of connection with the modern world and how our own well-being is affected by it.

On new track ‘Jardín de la Paz’, the trio tackle these feelings with understated vocals and melodic guitar sounds, helping listeners to acquire the peace of mind the group are searching for. Listen to the new single below and follow Mint Field on Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Adriana Tangassi

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Mint Field – ‘Pasar De Las Luces’

Emerging from the Mexican border town of Tijuana, Mint Field are a duo of twenty-one year olds who bonded over their shared love of indie and shoegaze. Whilst this may sound surprising, Mexico’s cultural suffusion with all things guitar-led perhaps makes it inevitable that at least one group would take inspiration from US/UK trends of the ’80s and ’90s.  

For Mint Field, though, it’s not just about the music – Amor (synths/drums) and Estrella (vocals/guitar) have admitted that “We knew we liked arts, we just never thought we’d become artists as musicians”. Following the release of debut EP, Primeras Salidas in 2015, Mint Field have toured the US and Mexico, playing Coachella, SXSW and support slots for established artists, including Suuns. It’s quite a step up from a pair who could barely play musical instruments when they met. But perhaps it’s that commitment to art that explains why – with debut album Pasar De Las Luces – the pair have crafted something exploratory, inventive, and epic.  

Opener ‘El Parque Parecía No Tener Fin’ begins with white noise, before Estrella introduces the song with robot speech, leading into a bass-led, post-punk structure, with delicately-picked guitars. It’s a cinematic trick that appears on several songs across the album – the duo unafraid to let each song build gently, adding layers to their creation, before letting it fall away again.  

‘Ciudad Satélite’ repeats the style, with Estrella’s crooning vocals swooping over a post-rock guitar style similar to Mogwai or God Speed You! Black Emperor. It returns again on ‘Viceversa’ – with a sunnier, slower take and Estrella’s voice light as a feather -, on ‘Nostalgia’ with its swooping crashing symbols and threaded guitars and, finally, on the spacey, explosive and yet empty contrast of ‘Boötes Void’; the cinematic style drawing the album together in the manner of a soundtrack to an unmade film.  

Other parts of the album look to differing rock styles: lead single ‘Ojos En El Carro’ is a Warpaint-esque ballad that explodes into life with a hurricane of distortion in its final third. ‘Temporada De Jacarandas’ pulls back, initially, into something more synth-driven and introspective, that turns dark at its close. ‘Cambios Del Pasar’ follows in the footsteps of Yo La Tengo!, with the repetitive gloom-psych of The Black Angels hanging over it.

‘Quiero Otoño De Nuevo’ is similarly relentless, but draws more from the non-stop Krautrock of Neu!, whilst ‘Club De Chicas’ is as poppy as the album gets – a My Bloody Valentine shoegaze throwdown, perfect for staring at the floor.  

‘Para Gali’ is a surprisingly cheery number, while closer ‘Párpados Morados’ finishes the album with a mournful farewell. But it’s tenth track ‘Nada Es Estático y Evoluciona’ around which the album hangs. An epic, built just out of guitar, drums and vocals, its opening verses gently carry the listener, before a key-turn takes everything swirling down and out, as its guitar riffs grow heavier and more ominous.

Recorded in Detroit with producer Christopher Koltay, Estrella and Amor say of the album: “We had a much clearer idea of what we wanted and we had the tools to make it.”  With this stunning fusion of light and shade, emotion and distance, Mint Field have harnessed their ideas and tools to produce the freshest, most emphatic debut of this, or many years.

Pasar De Las Luces, the debut album from Mint Field, is out 23rd February via Innovative Leisure Records. 

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Photo Credit: María Fernanda Molins