Posts Tagged ‘Juana Molina’

The bewitching Argentine singer, songwriter is known for her distinctive experimental pop sound

Juana’s music flows from her acoustic guitar – off-kilter electronic sounds and rhythms and a vast, strangely comforting plethora of noises from flora and fauna – while her voice is soothing and mesmeric. Segundo, Juana’s wonderful second album, is bubbling with joy underpinned by gentle grace.

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Originally released September 1st, 2000
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She’s back with yet another masterpiece album, overflowing with emotions, musical ideas and mysterious atmospheres. With Halo, Juana Molina picks up where she left off with her previous acclaimed album , and shows once more that she really is “on an evolutionary journey of her own devising”, which has brought the “eerie, hypnotic” music on each of her albums “to increasingly haunting heights.

“Halo” is Juana Molina’s seventh album, it contains twelve songs and was recorded in her home studio outside of Buenos Aires, and at Sonic Ranch Studio in Texas, with contributions by Odin Schwartz & Diego Lopez de Arcaute (who have both been playing live with Juana for a number of years), and Eduardo Bergallo (who has taken part in the mixing of her previous albums), with Deerhoof’s John Dieterich making a guest appearance in a couple of tracks.

There’s another type of musician, the singer/songwriter-type, who writes a poem or lyrics through which they want to express something, and are doing that in the context of music. So of course that reaches many more people, but in a different, verbal way. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t know the lyrics of the songs I love the most. I only notice lyrics when I don’t like them, and I’m very much into this abstract part of the music—when it has its own language and you don’t need verbal language. Language is so arbitrary that to define an emotion, you have to translate into words. If you’re not an amazing poet, you can’t do that. If you can’t do that, then lyrics are a problem to me. I always try to disguise the lyrics in the melody. They need to sound like the melody did when it still didn’t have the lyrics. The words need to fulfill the same function that the wordless melody did when I first made it up. That’s why in many of my songs I don’t sing lyrics because I couldn’t find anything better than the first sounds I recorded. When the idea is there, I interpret the idea with whatever I have on hand.

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This year has been exhilarating. I played fewer venues than on my previous tour, and the gigs have been so much better, the audience, the crowds that came were bigger. This year I grew as a live musician. All those fears that I’ve had since I was a little girl, they’re almost gone, but it’s taken me my whole life to get rid of them. I can see the joy of the audience now and compare it to how they reacted before. It’s so different that I would like to knock on the door of everyone who went to my previous shows and say, “Please, may I invite you to this new one. This one you will enjoy…” I think in the quality is so much better, three million times better now. I feel it while I’m playing and with the other musicians I’m playing with. I think I’m transmitting something that I wasn’t able to transmit before. I used to feel that only a few people in the audience were attentive enough to read what I was trying to say but it wasn’t an immediate connection. And now I do have that connection.

The most important thing is that I’ve grown not as a musician, but as a person on stage. I am able to do what I have to do and have fun and make people have a good time. So it’s like a feedback loop that comes and goes between them and me, at the end of the show everyone is happy that I wouldn’t change for the world.

This year something happened. I loosened a lot—I don’t know what was there that was holding me back. I’m not saying I’m at my peak because there’s more to come but I think there’s something new and I think it’s shown in the past three months only. I remember a terrible show we had where nothing worked, they hadn’t rented our keyboards, we didn’t have any instruments to do the show. And it was an important show at a festival and it was the most ridiculous thing where you had a turning stage so we were there still trying to figure out what to do and all of a sudden the stage turned and we were in front of all these people. It’s like OK, what do we do? And it was one of the best shows ever because we had to make everything up, on the spot. I only had the guitar and some effects and the keyboard player just had a keyboard he had to make something up with that. And a drummer. So I sang things that are usually played with other instruments. I don’t know what we did but it was magical. It was so good. I thought we should always have a surprise like this, so we have to improvise. It’s like jumping from a trampoline and you don’t know how deep the water is.

On Juana Molina’s seventh album Halo, the Argentinian freak folk artist/TV actress delivers one of the most immersive releases of 2017, summoning a delightfully weird world based loosely on the folk tale of an “evil light” that floats above buried bones. Standout tracks like “Sin dones” and “In the lassa” utilize guitars and synths in wholly unexpected ways, deviating from conventional pop structures and opting instead for abstract, impressionistic arrangements full of sonic trap doors and unexpected leaps. Woven through Halo is Molina’s distinct coo, at once menacing and whimsical; like everything about Halo, it inspires equal amounts of unease and glee.

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Image may contain: one or more people, sunglasses and close-up

Juana Molina’s recently-released single “Paraguaya” exists is a very particular sort of universe.  In the song’s hypnotic music video, disembodied heads coexist among bones stirring black-tar coffee, jagged cake slices are cut, spooky shadow puppets dance at will and utensils levitate. It ends with a languid shot of Molina sitting down with another woman (her mother, Chunchuna Villafañe) for coffee and cake. The wondrous video invites all kinds of interpretations. But no matter what you think of “Paraguya,” culled from the Argentinian musician’s latest album, Halo, this song is undeniably a deliberate confrontation with one’s own history, past and present.

Listening to “Paraguaya,” it’s impossible not to reexamine your own actions. The rhythmic quality of Molina’s music, reverberating with the low lull of a drone, ghostly electronic embellishments and the sparse plucks of a string section, suggests that this less a song than it is an incantation, both an inward and outward gesture that beckons towards healing. It’s also evident in Molina’s brilliant, alliterative wordplay, in which she invokes burning the herb rue and prepares a potion and prayer to recite on a moonlit night. Unsurprisingly, this challenging and centering song has become part of a ritual for me: Not a night goes by that I don’t listen to it before drifting off to sleep.

The bewitching Argentine singer, songwriter is known for her distinctive experimental pop sound

Juana Molina has ploughed a furrow of fulsome, hypnotic electronic folk for some time now, and the harvest she yields just gets better. It’s up against some strong competition, but Halo is a strong candidate for Molina’s best record to date

She’s back with yet another masterpiece album, overflowing with emotions, musical ideas and mysterious atmospheres. With Halo, Juana Molina picks up where she left off with her previous acclaimed album Wed 21, and shows once more that she really is “on an evolutionary journey of her own devising”, which has brought the “eerie, hypnotic” music on each of her albums “to increasingly haunting heights .

“Halo” is Juana Molina’s seventh album, it contains twelve songs and was recorded in her home studio outside of Buenos Aires, and at Sonic Ranch Studio in Texas, with contributions by Odin Schwartz & Diego Lopez de Arcaute (who have both been playing live with Juana for a number of years), and Eduardo Bergallo (who has taken part in the mixing of her previous albums), with Deerhoof’s John Dieterich making a guest appearance in a couple of tracks.

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