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Hoy a las Ocho

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Album Review

Hello Seahorse!'s sophomore effort, Hoy a las Ocho ("Today at Eight"), finds the band continuing their romance with jumbly, fun-loving, quirky-as-all-get-out indie pop. Similar to their debut release, this disc is full of ambitious time signatures, teensy-tiny toy instruments, squinchy synth flourishes, and round, clean, almost cartoony-feeling production; it's the kind of sound that brings to mind artists like It's a Musical, I'm from Barcelona, and Architecture in Helsinki. And it makes good on all the promise of their first disc — spilling over with adroit handclaps, tongue in cheek lyrics, and Vanil'la Face's frank, unabashed vocals, Hoy a las Ocho is endearingly puckish. "Won't Say Anything" is far and away the strongest track here, and it's potentially the strongest track the band had put together to date — it's delightfully hook-heavy, unabashedly whimsical, and irrepressibly rambunctious. Initially made available online as a seven-song EP, Hoy a las Ocho has been expanded to include four extra tracks on this 2007 Magic Marker/MUN version. It's a welcome expansion for the most part — the warm, sparkly, handclappy sweetness of "Atardecer en Parapent," "Lost Cause Heart," and "Cassette" feels right at home with the earlier tracks. "Universo 2," however, full of fuzzy guitars and gunky computerized bells and whistles, feels puffy and overblown compared to the rest of the album; it's out of character, and probably shouldn't have made the final cut. Other than that, this is a sparkly, surprisingly memorable listen.


Formed: Mexico City, Mexico

Genre: Alternative and Latin Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Mexican indie pop trio Hello Seahorse!, originally comprised of Denise Gutiérrez (aka Vanil'la Face and Lo Blondo), Oro de Neta, and Bonnz!, started putting together their first recordings in the early 2000s. Their debut full-length, ...And the Jellyfish Parade, came out in 2006; a mini-album, Hoy a las Ocho, was released on Magic Marker two years later. Both albums showcased a quirky, bubbly indie pop sound that nodded to acts like Architecture in Helsinki and It's a Musical! Hello Seahorse!'s sound...
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Hoy a las Ocho, Hello Seahorse!
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