They are marriages that work on “Luces Del Sur,” the second album from L.A. quartet Wait. Think. Fast.
Now about that pesky punctuation in the band’s name … “It’s not wait-think-fast,” says Santillan, explaining the derivation, which has nothing to do with quick thinking. “It’s from ‘Siddhartha’ – when he goes to the city and is asked what he’s learned.” Across the living room in their Echo Park home, Beighley smiles: “It’s cooler now, isn’t it.”
||| Stream: Music from “Luces Del Sur”
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Cool as air conditioning. Which is the vibe exuded by WTF’s sophomore album, a mix of dream-pop anchored by keyboards, electro beats and indie-rock guitars, moody anthems and Latin-influenced rockers sung in that other American language, Spanish. It’s a true melting-pot record, even if Santillan cops to already being weary of being pigeonholed as an “Argentine-born” singer. “But I’m a lot of things,” she says good-naturedly. “I’m an American girl through and through.”
Which makes a unilingual person curious: Does she dream in Spanish or English? “I’ve never been asked that before … I guess I do everything in both. I think in both, I dream in both,” she says. “When we’re writing a song, I just start singing words as we’re running through it, and [whether it’s Spanish or English] depends on what sounds better.”
The running-through process is what makes the Santillan-Beighley household a bustling place. He is responsible for most the music, she for the melody lines and lyrics. “I’m self-taught and I tend to put in a lot of time on things,” Beighley says. “I’ll work on something for five hours, and she’ll overhear it, come in and in an instant have a finished melody.”
Occasionally, they admit, Tom King and Sean Stentz have to referee – “Band fights are like Mom and Dad,” Beighley says laughing. “It’s funny,” Santillan adds. “And it’s fine to have a lot of opinions flying around.”
Opinions were important in the making of “Luces Del Sur,” which was recorded in Tucson with Craig Schumacher – the first time the band had worked with an outside producer. “I was looking forward to it, just to have somebody get us out of our comfort zone,” Santillan says. “But I was anxious about working with somebody who’s worked with Neko Case.”
The album, which was released digitally in August, comes out in physical form on Tuesday.