Mexican Burial Vacation


I discovered Burial’s Untrue just before my first international family vacation to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in January, 2008. It was the month of my 21st birthday. If Untrue doesn’t strike you as the ideal soundtrack to a tropical vaycay, I don’t blame you. It felt wrong to me as well. I had given it a listen or two before the journey, so I knew what I would be getting myself into. The album was dark and brooding, invoking feelings of longing and loneliness. But something about it was also extremely compelling. Part of me didn’t want to like it, but that part was summarily beaten and left for dead at the wayside of my mind.

You may be wondering how large a role Burial played in our vacation. I couldn’t have been listening that much – I was spending quality time with my family in an exotic destination, for Yeezus’ sake. But anybody who has spent prolonged periods of time with my family will know that frequent periods of alone time are necessary to retain any sense of sanity. Untrue became the official soundtrack to those moments.

Wonder what I was listening to...

Wonder what I was listening to…

But didn’t I have anything else to listen to? Couldn’t I have listened to something more upbeat, more positive, more party-oriented? Something more fitting for a fun-filled family adventure? Yeah, I probably could have. But the natural reflective introvert inside me was too powerful to be ignored. Any brief respite I had was spent immersed in the rich, complex and melancholic world of Burial’s Untrue.

Listening to the album while staying at a shiny, all-inclusive resort was a trip, to say the least. I couldn’t help but think about how the people who were serving us felt. Did they enjoy indulging all the hedonistic pleasures of relatively rich, predominantly white tourists? Were they comfortable knowing that their beautiful homeland had been transformed into a cookie-cutter vacation destination for retirees, spoiled children and irreverent partiers? Walking around the resort late at night with Burial filling my ears, I couldn’t help but feel a little like a 21st century colonist, taking advantage of a people reduced to neo-slavery.

night resort

My first-world white guilt didn’t entirely prevent me from having a good time, though. Enough food, drink and beautiful babes can quell any internal storm, for a time. At the end of it all, I had mixed feelings about the whole vacation. The presence of Burial’s Untrue only made things more confusing. The music enhanced the uncomfortable emotions I felt about the trip. But, in a way, this was a positive thing. Too often in life we choose to push unpleasant emotions aside in favour of sparkles and rainbows. Sometimes we must face difficult feelings head-on. They help us to better comprehend the world around us, and ourselves.

I don’t listen to Untrue that much these days, but when I do I can’t help but think of Mexico and get buried in a mix of feelings, both good and bad. But what is the purpose of music if it isn’t to invoke something, even if they are confused and fragmented emotions? Sometimes that’s exactly how life feels.

ping pong

New Video: “Begins With A Return”

We are thrilled/excited/jacked/positively incensed to release the video for our new song “Begins With a Return” which features stunning views of Western US and a very cute gal.

The video was directed by Brandon W. Fletcher of Faked Potatoes and produced with the aid of Public Records & TELUS.




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