I receive dozens of promos each week, and so some can get lost in the shuffle. I was working through some of them recently, and came across Erth’s new album, called “Petricor” after the smell humans detect after a fresh rainfall. I had planned on listening to one track, but found myself wanting to hear the next and the next. Soon, I realized that I was listening to pure brilliance. “Petricor” released on April 20th, and I apologize to the band for not getting to it sooner.
Erth hail from Costa Rica. That country seems to produce some vibrant music, in my experience. The band consists of Joel Fernández on bass, Andrés Bonilla on keys, Roberto Mata and Diego Mejía on guitars, and Marco Rodríguez on drums. You will also hear Rodrigo García on synth, and Juan Luis Díaz on drums.
Erth’s music is difficult to describe in all its lush glory. It is certainly experimental, but I’m not so sure “rock” captures the overall tone. It has jazz fusion moments, but some sections rely more on electronica. Most importantly, the band uses all three of those genres in a flowing, groovy fashion that feels seamless and purposeful. So, while you will hear guitar work with the deliberation of Plini, you will also hear colorful guitar synth, funk, jazzy time signatures, and completely indescribable moments that all come together into one progressive and highly successfully package.
The album only has six tracks and lasts only about 35 minutes. It truly does not outstay its welcome, and what it does, it does concisely and resolutely. I would mention, though, that the opening track may be the weakest on the album. As much as I like “Xibalba” and its fuzzy complexities, the album only gets stronger from there. Much stronger.
Let’s review them, shall we? “Dj Drogba” uses the guitar synth to great effect, almost coming across as very 90s in its tone, almost as if it was influenced by the Liquid Tension Experiment. Its groovy rhythm and quirkiness won me over instantly. “La L.S” buzzes and whirs in pleasant fashion, being a shorter and transitional track. “Shinrin Yoku” is one of the jazzier tracks, feeling comfortable and atmospheric. The bass and background guitar accents just add to the overall effect. The last half gets rhythmic and just plain cool. I don’t use that word very often, but it definitely applies here.
Now, the last two tracks are probably my favorites. “Deepweb” will probably makes its way to my favorite songs of 2019 list, despite only being 3 minutes in length. It is joyous, quirky, hoppy, and synthy. I can’t get enough. The album ends with “La D10S”, which offers pure atmosphere and synthetic goodness. Combined with the deep bass and myriad effects, the song completes the album with class, color, and even a bit of edge.
I am feeling sorry that I have not heard of Erth before now. Their music is truly alive and adventurous, and you will find your head bobbing along to the music several times on this record. “Petricor” is a true gem in 2019.
Find Erth online: