This is the fourth album from the former comedienne from Buenos Aires and probably her most accessible yet. Breakthrough time? The follow-up to Segundo, the album that introduced this quirky talent to the global music scene in 2003, is full of Juana’s deep and breathy multi-layered vocals, acoustic guitar picking and sparse, carefully structured, hypnotic electronica. The result is an album gets under your skin and becomes a seductive, addictive itch that needs regular scratching.
Her sound sits somewhere between that of French chanteuse Camille, and Beth Orton’s more experimental folktronic work. Like Camille, Molina likes to loop her voice and instrumentation until the listener is coated in an ethereal, mesmerizing blanket of sound. But like Orton she bases the compositions around the guitar, which keeps the music from becoming too mannered and arty.
Highlights include Malherido, where a dubby banjo-like guitar sound underpins a tune whose sonic experimentation recalls Laurie Anderson, with Juana Molina scatting over some feverishly avant-garde electronica.
Fans of The Raincoats will like the multi-layered looped other-worldly doo-wop vocals, feline wailing and exquisite repeated Afro-acoustic guitar refrain on the terrifically enchanting Un Beso Llega. It’s one of the few tracks to contain (very light) percussion, as does the mellifluous Yo No, a song that would be a stonewall candidate for chartdom were it sung in English.
It’s a great pity that Juana Molina had to cancel her recent tour through shoulder problems, because it would have been fascinating to see how, or if, she manages to transfer this exceptional sound into the live setting.
If this recording gets the coverage it deserves, however, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of this singularly talented woman.
This review was first published on Fly:-