Let’s cut to the chase here: to say that Divino Niño‘s newest album Last Spa on Earth was at the top of my most anticipated albums of the year would be an understatement. Their last album, Foam, was a perfect summer album that was determined to just chill out its listeners with its psychedelic indie rock mixed throwback sounds. Last year upon the release of “Drive”, it was undeniable that Divino Nino was going to be trying something new with this album. “Drive” felt like a transitional song, embodying the indie psychedelia of the band while dipping its toes into electro-house, R&B, the stranger elements of modern Latin music. Last Spa on Earth takes that notion to heart as it turns that idea of laidback tunes on its head, delivering another sexy album that will have you dancing rather than relaxing.
While Foam seemed to split the Spanish and English language tracks evenly, Last Spa on Earth eschews that and mixes the languages entirely. Every song on the album slides between the two with ease, not really caring to be tied down by either one and doubles down a wide variety of Latin music influences. I’m sure the extended presence of Spanish and dancier grooves will make some try to corner the album as just Latin Music, but it’s so confident in the integration of elements that it supersedes any true definition.
The album kicks off with the ethereal and hazy “LSE,” an intro song luring you into the Last Spa on Earth with smooth lines: “Calentamo toda la piel / Aquí no hay tiempo / Aquí no hay hora” (We heat up all the skin / Here there is no time / here there is no hour). The song’s final lines seem to underline the band’s direction, “Won’t you come over? Need a makeover? Need to start over?”. It’s an invite to this new world that effortlessly slides into the following track “Nos Soltamos,” an immediate highlight of the album.
“Nos Soltamos” is Divino Niño at their most at ease. The song is an ode to letting go even as things seem to at their worst as they detail a car skidding on the road. With references to Blink 182, the Beach Boys, a pair of underwater friends and lines like “Cuando me dedicas esta canción con tu nalga fatal” (When you dedicate this song to me with your fatal ass), “Nos Soltamos” tows the line between insightful and absurd.
The same could be said about the overall vibe of the album. The pop culture reference are abundant and there are moments of strange dissonance throughout that all somehow works out elegantly. “Mona”, a song that at first feels like a lost track off Foam with tender vocals, soft guitars, and twinkling keys before it melts into that fast-paced and glitched out electro-house. “XO” is an R&B jam if I ever heard one, but laced with some Reggaton beats that fit in with the song’s sexy blasphemous (“Sin religión, solo sazón” is maybe my favorite line in an album full of amazing lyrics).
There are just so many standout tracks on the album. Each one has its own unique style while maintaining the Last Spa on Earth‘s cohesiveness (that of insatiable horniness). Some songs ooze with sincerity like “Tu Tonto“, a complete embracing of just giving into someone (and a Ranma ½ shoutout). Others are just pure party anthems like live staple “Miami”, which finally sees a studio version after years of making crowds shake their butts off. The song is as fun as it is live with its infectious chants of “Welcome to Miami” hitting just as strong.
Last Spa on Earth is a dazzling new direction for Divino Niño. Whether it’s the direction they’ll be going in the future or just a pit stop, its adept mixing of styles makes for a necessary listen.
You can listen to Divino Niño‘s Last Spa On Earth here. Divino Niño is currently on tour and will be making a stop at Lincoln Hall on October 8. Get your tickets now because they are close to selling out.