Miss Cactus & The Desert Burn Brightly in Video for “Dating School”

By Deuce

Miss Cactus & The Desert are doing the most on the recently released video for “Dating School”. The band manages to comprise about four cuts or so into this one track, complete with different rhythms, voices, outfits, and styles.

Perhaps the sheer amount of versatility displayed within this single selection is to be expected. After all, no fewer than six musicians are banging away on this one with a surfeit of live drums, bass, keys, a couple of different guitars…and that’s not including Alondra Ramirez (Miss Cactus) on vocals, the magical horns, or the frisky percussion instruments razzing this tune up and simmering it back down at discreet intervals.

Seriously, if this track is indicative of this squad’s forthcoming EP Oasis—currently slated to drop next month—listeners are in for something of an experience. “Dating School” is the third single the group’s released, and one of the most refreshing aural concoctions this reviewer’s heard in a while.

Again, the sheer diversity of the variation displayed throughout “Dating School” makes it worth the price of admission alone. The strongest groove, the most compelling rhythm and the catchiest of all the different styles in this pastiche is the initial one. Miss Cactus purrs demurely over a breezy, Caribbean groove that takes its time, sort of like a meandering drive along the Gulf of Mexico. You can roll the window down to this one, or maybe roll it up if you want, or maybe just drift off into a calypso-soaked afternoon of indolent horns and delicious sounds.

Nearly a minute and a half in, however, you’re suddenly on Ocean Drive at Mango’s, the laid-back ska feel suddenly ditched for the driving rhythms of the club, the classic dancehall drum pattern overwhelming with the assertion of Cactus, who now belts out the hook with panache. At other points the melodies, lyrics and crooning are readily exchanged for a lesson in Spanish, before the track shifts once again to that first slice of paradise.

Although it might sound like a lot to keep up with, the transitions and shifting phases of “Dating School” merely underscore the sonic sophistication of Miss Cactus & The Desert. The band definitely knows what it’s doing and has a fearless leader in the good missus, who could perhaps guide the group to mainstream status.    

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