I sat down to write a normal track by track review of Oleada’s ‘Los Animales’ review but I quickly realized that this was not a normal album so my normal style of reviewing wasn’t going to work here. Well, I guess it probably could have worked but, with nineteen songs, I felt like my article was going to get too lengthy and you wouldn’t stick with it. On top of that, the style of ‘Los Animales’ is so different from what I typically review leaving me a bit lost for words and I found myself saying the same thing over over again with each track. Because of this, I’m going to try something new out and, instead of going track by track on this one, I am going to try and give you an overall feel for this absolutely genius album.
First, let’s talk about who Oleada is. Oleada is the full instrumental, distortion-free side project of Brendan Deiz. I was not familiar with Brendan prior to hearing this album but he is actually the guitarist of Doombia and Los Mal Hablados (which both are worth your attention when you have the time). Although Brendan is based in Portland, listening to ‘Los Animales’ is like a trip to the south and I’m not talking Texas. The amount of distinct island sounds and chatter throughout this album truly transported me away from the United States and made me feel like I was somewhere exotic. That’s just the beginning of the magic of ‘Los Animales’.
As the title of this album points to, ‘Los Animales’ is about animals but there are no lyrics to convey this. Instead, Oleada uses different textures and animal sounds to convey the idea of each animal. From elephants to birds to cats, you really get a whole zoo here with each track having a very unique and different vibe to it while becoming a cohesive work of art as a whole album. As previously mentioned, this album is full of nineteen songs representing nineteen different albums and I don’t want to spend all of your time right now going through the entire zoo but here are some stand-outs to me:
“Periquitos” (parakeets) brings the sound of birds and island-vibes but also brings an almost jazzy horn to the forefront. The driving beat of this track is somehow slow and steady yet this song feels super upbeat and danceable. I’m not typically one for instrumentals but the way the horn truly sings throughout this song had me forgetting that there were no vocals in this song (or any of the songs on this album for that matter).
“Gato” means cat so it was fitting that this track started off with the sound of a cat. Another danceable track, this song had a clear South American influence behind it while still bringing that island-styled vibe to the table. These two elements put together created a super fun listening experience for me.
“Tiburón” (shark) brings a new sense of urgency to this album while still keeping with the overall mystical vibe that Oleada does so well. I’m not going to give all of the animals away on this album but it definitely makes sense that this song would come with such a sense of urgency and power. Even though there is this new found sense of intensity, this song still remains in line with everything else on this album which is absolutely stunning.
I could seriously go on and on about the tracks on this album but that’s what I’m trying to avoid here because, first, I don’t think you’re going to read it all and, second, I don’t want to give it all away. It was super fun to hear the interpretation of all of these animals and see how perfectly the vibe of each track fit with the thoughts I had on said animals but, more than the animal motif is the true talent that shines with every track.
As mentioned, the sounds of Oleada were completely new to me. Sure, there were some elements that I recognized such as a little ska influence here and there or a blaring horn that caught my attention but, other than that, the rhythmic patterns and even instrumentation left me confused yet thrilled at times. I know I could go back to Oleada and ask a million questions about it but I also feel like that ruins the fun a little bit for me. I get immersed in worlds of music where I recognize a lot or at least can relate to things a little bit but that was not the case when it came to ‘Los Animals’. I liked that this album challenged me when it came to writing this review and gave me a chance to experience something completely different.
Long story short, ‘Los Animales’ is a true journey and Oleada will thrill and surprise you throughout said journey. This album is best listened to without any interruptions or distractions. Just turn it on, turn the volume up, and let it transport you to the sunny tropics surrounded by some of the most amazing animals and sounds you’ve ever experienced.
Shameless Self Promotion:
Buy Me a Coffee (Seriously!)
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly