Sin una Raíz, Los Días
Fuego Amigo Discos, Argentina
by Giovanni Guillén
While researching more on Pablo Acosta and his self-recorded, self-produced project, Los Días, I found a blog that called attention to the fact that the album’s songs were all titled in lowercase. Somehow the omission of capital letters wasn’t the result of lazy tagging (some bands are very lazy taggers) but, rather, it worked to characterize the music: intimate, homemade tunes produced on Casiotones and acoustic guitars. If this description triggers images of a kind of “indietronica” album with a formula that was exhausted back in 2005, then Los Días' debut album Sin una Raíz deserves a bit more credit.
Armed with the exact same instruments, Pablo Acosta could have easily made a very different record. One that resorted to extremes in the bedroom pop genre: light and fun twee or something much more brooding and dark (let’s pretend for a second that chillwave doesn’t exist). Instead, Acosta went for a very emotionally consistent sound, one that abstains from extreme highs or lows. Maybe that description doesn’t quite hit the mark, either. I like to think of the album as neutrally charged, and, depending on the listener’s state of mind, it can produce tears or even warm feelings. Not all of the songs on Sin una Raíz are as successful at generating an intense response, no doubt due to the album’s short length; but when it works, it works very well.
On the album highlight “Arruinar,” Acosta’s lyrics go after the axiom that time heals all wounds (“y ahora que sabes que el tiempo nunca nos va enseñar a ser mejor”). The music, however, works to contradict this sentiment. Despite the drums and the guitar’s frantic, light chaos, the song produces a contemplative and bittersweet mood, suggesting healing is or will be occurring. At least that’s what I got; it feels very open to interpretation. And yet, it is that mood that carries through most of the record, even in some of its heavier moments (“el mostrador” and the title track are especially sinister), making it the perfect banda sonora to a rainy afternoon spent at home. To give some perspective, whatever playlist (be it a first love or breakup set) you have Yo La Tengo’s “Autumn Sweater” or anything by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone in, this album will feel right at home between those songs.