Happy-Fi is like the happiest home of Mexican pop, one of those labels that are truly run by its artists who for the most part, make bright harmless pop that is as warm and comfy as long sleeve sweaters. While their previous compilations seemed like statements of eternal youth or at least teenage yearning stuff, their fifth compilation titled Coyote Nights is powerful box full of pop waiting disperse through the night. We’ve met most of these artists at some point, either on previous numbers of the series or on side releases, so this time it’s not as random as I would like it to be. But don’t get it wrong, this isn’t one of those promo upfront albums American labels release every year. It’s almost impossible not to do a track-by-track review even if they are following a theme; these are some of my thoughts.
It opens with the nostalgic “Beso de Sol” by Camilo Mejia who sets the perfect peaceful mood for the birth of something beautiful. d3NdRON follows with “Mitras Anthem”, one of my favorites; I always fall for those pieces that pay homage to origin or serve as centers of interaction. It’s been a while since I heard “Disdrive” by Japan’s 80kidz who I imagine made a close relation with the label after their awesome remix for Quiero Club’s “Let Da Music.” El Cuarto unfolds “Minimal” as a dance waiting to happen, very 80s like and infectious. Niña was one of the first Mexican bands I really listened to, so it obviously holds a bit of sentimentalism from my part, they do a fine job here with “Primavera 69.” I’ve never heard of She’s a Tease but enjoyed them as well. It’s time to tell you about my favorite, “Unos Amigos, Unos Vatos, Unos Gueyes” is arresting and a revelation for Yo! Linares who sound like Los Campesinos! and Dananananaykroyd.
And of course, Quiero Club shows up and they’re a pleasure, I don’t think there is a band that sounds as fresh as they do in the entire world. The May Fire is a great band, its vocalist Cat Tasso (from Chile) delivers great live shows, probably the darkest moment in the album. By now we can pretty much say Jovenes y Sexys is a universally-acclaimed band whose Bruno EP doesn’t seem to age a bit, they’re here too with their hit “El Reloj.” The album gets a bit too dreamy near the end, but Quiero Club saves the flame in collaboration with HC (who have a track together on the Rudo y Cursi Soundtrack), “Baila” is like a lost piece Nueva America, upbeat and glamorous. Perhaps it’s not a groundbreaking album, but it makes me wish for a Happy-Fi stage at Vive Latino (a la Discos Intolerancia), good pop seriously needs more presence among our festivals.