Review | Songlines

Mirla

Rating: ★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details

Artist/band:

Monte

Label:

Monte

January/2021

Nature has often been an inspiration for Bomba Estéreo, a handful of tracks from their albums Elegancia Tropical and Amanecer springing to mind, but it’s always been subordinate to the demands of writing a good pop song. On his debut album as Monte, Bomba’s musical mastermind Simón Mejía allows for nature to finally be forefront and centre, or at least sharing that space with an arsenal of synths and drum machines. Which is OK, as they make for fine companions.

The title-track, with its charango riff, evokes Colombia’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. It seems to imbue optimism, with birdsong fluttering in the background. And it’s these birds that seem ever present, whether in the form of the hummingbirds on stand­out track ‘Colibrí’ who chirp along to a delicate bouncing beat that builds to cathartic release, or when they are mimicked digitally, like the synth-made owl calls on ‘Hábitat Sur’. This trick is repeated on ‘Jungla’ and ‘Mar’, largely electronic exercises that successfully evoke the jungle and sea of their titles. Only final track, ‘Sol Amor’, fails to impress, its digitised female vocals and swaggering bassline seeming at odds with everything before it.

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