Juana Molina

Tres Cosas (Domino)

Juana Molina is an Argentinean singer/guitarist who also happens to be a well-known comic actor in her native country. When she plays live she allows her long brown hair to hang in her face while she picks simple figures on her guitar and overlays them with precise vocal lines; her bushy-bearded partner Alejandro Franov supplies a sticky keyboard goo that lends the music a vaguely futuristic quality. The last time I saw Molina, she addressed the audience only to blame her laconic manner on the half of a Valium she'd taken to sleep on the red-eye from her current home in Los Angeles to New York. Should you find yourself Valiumless on your next overnight flight, you could do worse than to administer Tres Cosas, Molina's second domestically released CD, on a steady drip through your headphones. Her songs inhabit that semiconscious state between sleep and waking life: In opener "No Es Tan Cierto" she plucks out the same arpeggio dozens of times, creating a hypnotic lull that sounds like it's changing when it's not. Later, in "Sólo Su Voz" she plants a full-flower chorus between minimal verses, threatening to reveal a breathtaking vista then hiding it away. This bewitching record is all about that sublimated mystery.

 
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