Tristeza

A Colores

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The great thing about instrumental albums -- good ones, anyway -- is how the lack of vocals lets your imagination create sonic landscapes filled with whatever tripped-out imagery your substance-assisted brain can dream up. You don't even have to be high to see the vast stillness of the Southwestern desert and the mystical infinity of outer space on Tristeza's latest release, the band's first in three years. Shimmering guitars ring with bell-like clarity while keyboards awash in reverb sing melodies as ancient as the Earth and driving yet unobtrusive percussion propels the album into ever more enigmatic and complex galaxies. A Colores is melancholy and introspective without being depressive. On the contrary, the disc is expansive and inviting; it lets you roll around in it and ruminate on the unknowables of life before leaving you with a magical sense of possibility. This is my No. 1 go-to record for dark days spent wrapped in thought and a comforter, staring out a rain-streaked bedroom window.

 
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