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Juana Molina


Country of origin:

Argentina

Type of music generally:

An eclectic and highly individual mix of ectronica, pop, and folk

Status:

Most recent release, Wed 21 (2013)

See also:

Juana Molina's site

Wikipedia's entry on Juana Molina

Comparisons:

I can't think of any. She's highly individual. Maybe a kindred spirit to Jorane and St. Vincent? (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Much as I love Juana Molina's music, I've never known how to describe it (probably why I love it). My best effort is a sort of low-fi ectronica. She uses lots of loops and electronic sounds (I'm not at all well versed in the technology) but the music is otherwise quite spare. A sort of cross between late night cool and Sunday afternoon calm. She's usually categorized as world music because she's from Argentina and sings in Spanish, but it's really not. All music guide uses the words "quirky," "atmospheric," and "intimate," and I think all these adjectives fit. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recommended first album:

Tres cosas

Recordings:


Segundo

Release info:

2000; re-released 2003—Domino Recording Co.—DNO 015

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juana Molina—vocals, all instruments

Guest artists:

Alejandro Franov—some keyboards (1, 7); monophonic (7); programming (11); vocals (1, 11)
John Baxter—electric guitar (5)
Ron Aniello—dulcimer, samplings, percussion, sequences (8)
David Miner—bass (8)
Fernando Kabusacki—"claxon guitar" (14)

Produced by:

Juana Molina

Comments:

Showcases her experimentation. There are little electronic bloops and bleeps, various sounds, even dog woofs (appropriately enough) in "El Perro." It's like this strange and wonderful universe, where everything is off kilter but works perfectly. I love her inventiveness and humor. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Tres cosas

Release info:

2002

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juana Molina

Guest artists:

Fernando Kabusacki—guitar (3); whales (7); ambient and electric guitar (12)
Alejandro Franov—keyboards (2, 7, 8, 12); vocals (3)
Petra Haden (That Dog and solo)—violins (9)
Martín Iannaccone—violincello (12)

Produced by:

Juana Molina

Comments:

My favorite of Juana Molina's albums. It's folkier, lighter on electronics (they're there, but more atmospheric). I'll quote Jon Pareles of the NY Times who named it one of the top 10 albums of the year: "This whispery album is the latest invitation into the reveries of the Argentine songwriter Juana Molina. It's built from her acoustic guitar picking, her hushed voice, melodies with the simplicity of lullabies and rustling, rippling, melting synthesizer backdrops that fill the songs with mystery." Yes, exactly. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Son

Release info:

2006—Domino Recording Co.—DNO 094

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juana Molina—all instruments; gongs (6, 7)

Guest artists:

Alejandro Franov—gongs (6, 7); some keyboard programming
Martín Ibarburu—kick drum (2)

Produced by:

Juana Molina

Comments:

An excellent album that builds on Tres cosas with a less folky and more experimental/electronic sound, though here are a couple of places where it gets too noodly for my taste. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (Ellepeace@aol.com)


Un Día

Release info:

2008—Domino Recording Co.—DNO 196

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juana Molina

Guest artists:

Gareth Dickson—guitars between 3 and 4 and between 6 and 7

Comments:

Another wonderful album. It doesn't seem as inventive as Son (it's close in sound), but it's just as good. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Wed 21

Release info:

2013—Crammed Discs—CRAM 220

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Juana Molina

Produced by:

Juana Molina

Comments:

With her first album in 5 years, Juana Molina returns to delight with more oddball quirkiness. This time the songs are more upbeat and really catchy. It's a thoroughly captivating album. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best albums of the year. (valrichardson@igc.org)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Artists commented on by
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