Mexican Dust Album Review: Displacement & Despair

Upon a first listen to The Mosquitos latest project, Mexican Dust, you may breeze through the album’s laid-back, lo-fi instrumentation and gentle melodies that can act as the perfect soundtrack to your summer bike ride or dreamy lounge at the park. Yet, when diving deeper you find the album’s intricate lyrics tell a melancholy tale of a longing, loss, and quest for “home”- wherever that may be.

Coming off a ten-year hiatus, Juju Stulbach, Chris Root & Jon Marshall Smith, have returned with an album filled with dynamic songs that blend acoustic indie pop, electric & electronic sounds and Brazilian influences. The album is also filled with sincere storytelling and frankly, somewhat depressing lyrics. (though, the smooth upbeat arrangements evoke more hopeful light-hearted sentiments). Even while harmonizing the phrase, “I Feel So Lonely” on the track “So Lonely”, the horn arrangements and unique electronic additions create a seemingly more mellow and optimistic song. Also, tracks like “Estrangeira” (“Stranger” in Portuguese), and “Counting The Days”, present more sunny pop vibes, while lyrically conveying a sense of wistful desire for a return to “home”.

This dynamic contrast of lyrics and sounds are most evident in their latest music video for “So Lonely”. This dynamic contrast of lyrics and sounds are most evident in their latest music video for “So Lonely”. The grim and surreal atmosphere of the music video highlights the bleak themes of isolation in the song.

This search for a place to call home is an ever-present theme throughout the album. The opening tracks of “This Town” and “Far Like Stars”, introduce this very concept. With lyrics such as, “Home is what we’re made of / But everything was lost in confusion”, we are told of this discontent, felt through an endless yearning to belong. The songs continue to maintain the light, airy vocals that ensure easy listening, yet also grant the listener the opportunity to reflect on the deeper meaning.

The variance of these sound and lyrics do not combat each other, but rather open a sense of uplifting optimism and sincerity that is both tragic and heartwarming.

Listen to Mexican Dust here and check out their performance for “Counting the Days” for BTR Today below.

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