Beauty in darkness. That is the prime takeaway from Un Final Feliz, the debut album from Mexico City’s Loiis. With clear reference points to be found in the 1990s slowcore scene, frontman Mauricio Avendaño leads his band through the dark forest. But in the dank and brooding atmosphere of Loiis’ stark and minimal arrangements, one can’t help but notice the beauty that’s taking place behind and between Avendaño’s crooning.
Don’t mistake beauty and quietness for weakness, though; Un Final Feliz offers some of the loudest quiet sounds since Codeine’s The White Birch or Low’s Long Division. (Visual evidence of their live performances on YouTube and Facebook confirm that they are very loud on stage.) But the Kim Deal-like base of “Hiperlineal” and the gentle acoustic guitar strumming on “LLuvia” offer a delicate balance to the heaviness, while with “No Me Acuerdo,” the contrast of loud/quiet/loud creates an intoxicating, dreamlike trance that offers respite from the storm that rages around you.
And that’s what makes Un Final Feliz such an intoxicating, compelling listen. What it seemingly offers on first listen isn’t necessarily what you realize you’ve just heard.
Quiet music played loudly.
Mood music without moodiness.
Sad songs offering solace.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Loiis.