Vaya Con Dios was a Belgian music act, that stood out for its mixing of blues, jazz, and Gypsy styles, as well as the distinctive voice of its lead singer Dani Klein. It was one of the most successful Belgian music acts ever, having sold more than 7 million albums and more than 3 million singles. It was founded in 1986, but after 1991 Vaya Con Dios was for the most part a one woman band, centered on singer, lyricist, band leader and (co-)producer Dani Klein, reinforced by an ever-changing selection of musicians. In 2014, Dani Klein performed her last international tour under the Vaya Con Dios formula. Vaya Con Dios officially disbanded with their last concert on 25 October 2014, in Forest National.
As promising as Dios' mix of indie rock, psychedelia, and Californian pop was on their Arboles EP, the group's self-titled first full-length is even more ambitious and accomplished. Dios is a darker and more complex take on the band's unmistakably Californian sound; even the poppiest songs, like "Starting Five" – which carries within it the musical DNA of Golden State bands from the Beach Boys to Pavement – have a lingering melancholy. Much has been made of Dios' obsession with the Beach Boys, and they don't downplay it on the album. If anything, they emphasize it with the album's elaborate production, and even go as far as quoting the a cappella breakdown of Pet Sounds' "You Still Believe in Me" in the middle of "50 Cents." And like the band's idols (who also hailed from their hometown of Hawthorne, CA), Dios also make music perfect for cruising, although the band's sound suggests dusk and smog more than surf and sun; it's no mistake that the covers for both Dios and Arboles depict urban California sunsets.