The sun is always setting in Dios' world, reflecting on a day that's passed.
It's almost dark but it's still warm it's kind of a downer but
it's always, always beautiful and impossible not to fall into.
This five-song EP could be the Sunday record, the campfire collection or the CD you listen to on headphones just before bed. At times cynical and sarcastic, Los Arboles isn't your typical folk-pop record. It's a personal documentation of life's downers, made light with shimmering beats, sun-kissed harmonies and sweet, sweet melodies.
Backed by gay oo's and la-la-la's and built on delicate, climbing keys, swinging acoustic riffs and an occasional sample (birds, distant conversation), EP opener "All Said + Done" is at once hopeless and hopeful a contradictory state that carries through the entire record, and one that's easy for most to identify with. "I know what I'm after/ But I think I know everything," singer/guitarist Kevin Morales sings, his lackadaisical vocals awash in echoes atop fluttering, emotive melodies. "I'm looking for answers/ Why can't you explain anything?”
"Bust Out the Candy," which begins with a snort, features disheveled carnival melodies, playful acoustics and a catchy beat. "I don't even talk much/ I don't say much anyway/ I've taught myself to be such/ An asshole each and every day," sneers Morales. He goes on to wonder why he does it: bust out the candy, swallow more brandy. Is it 'cause he doesn’t want to wake to another day? "Is it me or am I dumb/ Am I having any fun at all?" he asks.
With rubber band-snapping rhythms, distant keys, swirling acoustics, jingling tambourine and a stomping beat, "You’ll Get Yours" confronts an ex. Lyrics that seem meant for fast and loud sounds are instead sung in a seemingly harmless, frail way against subdued playing. "You said you'd always be there/ You know that was a lie," Morales coos, but clearly sneering. "Now it's time to move on/ So I hope you're satisfied/ Fuck all that shit/ Of staying friends.”
Counted off slow and fragile, "Tragic Lady" closes the record on the saddest
note, with delicate acoustic strums, emotive melodies and piano that feels as
if it's struggling to hold on. "Why can't I forget her, father?" he begs. "Oh
mama, she's gone/ Without her I don't know who I am/ Someone tell me why she
had to die/ Tragic lady come back."
Dios combine an appreciation for breezy '60s Californian pop with a gritty, sometimes sarcastic, tell-it-like-it-is honesty, for a result so engrossing it’s like the sunset you wish it'd last forever. Or at least longer than five songs.