Juana Molina, Un Dia
Domino Records, 2008
Reviewed by Joel Davis, KGNU DJ — Terrasonic, Friday Afternoon Sound Alternative
Un Dia, Juana Molina’s fifth recording, serves as sonic opiate. At turns and all at once, it thrills, massages, sedates and delights, extending a winning streak of enthralling releases dating back to her first (Rara).
In her Buenos Aires backyard studio, she pipes childlike voice and acoustic guitar through electronic toys — a marriage of wood, steel and circuits yielding hypnotic nursery rhymes and dark lullabies.
Molina’s acousti-tronic trip begins with the title track. Repetitive incantations in front of assertive guitar and insistent electronic treatments build exquisite suspense to a liberating climax…before giving way to the more melodic “Vive Solo.” On “Los Hongos de Marosa,” the centerpiece of Un Dia’s coffeehouse trance journey, Molina’s voice turns dreamily percussive, hovering just above her intricate treatments like fog over a morning meadow. “No llama” displays Juana’s evident guitar skill, and the closing “Dar (Que Dificil)” punctuates this entrancing suite with gothic folksiness, trippy subdued electronica and rhythmic finality.
Born into a family of musicians, Juana Molina walked away from her starring role in a hit Argentinean TV comedy to return to her musical roots, leaving behind certain success in the pursuit of her art. Good choice? The answer lies in the indelibly lush and personal imprint she leaves on every sculpted song.