Monday, December 18, 2006

Juana Molina

Whilst we've been blighted by the likes of Russ Abbot's 'Atmosphere', Jasper Carrot's 'Funky Moped' and Benny Hill's 'Fastest Milkman In The West', Argentina have been blessed with an altogether better breed of comedian-turned recording artist; be upstanding please for Juana Molina. Putting aside our petty jealousy for 56 minutes, 'Son' represents the most complete outpouring from the quixotic Molina yet, bringing together a bubbling thrum of acoustic instrumentation, organic electronics, found-sound fragments and of course Molina's honey-glazed vocals. Opening through the gorgeous 'Rio Seco', Molina quickly asserts her formidable songwriting talent through the kind of pink-hued patter that could act as the missing link between the more emotional side of US indie and it's leftfield, continental cousins. Seemingly enthralled to the constant soundtrack provided by mother nature, Molina coats elements of the album in a sun-dappled veneer of bird-song; with the genuinely gorgeous 'La Verdad' one such example. Sharing name-checks with the likes of Nick Drake, Stereolab and Rosario Bléfari, 'La Verdid' is both achingly intimate and utterly cinematic - taking an acoustic core and slowly fermenting it through layers of warm emotion. Elsewhere, 'Elena' lands somewhere between the best of Hanne Hukkelberg and Barbara Morgenstern, 'Miceal' trades it's early fragility for some mealy rhythms, whilst 'No Seas Antipatica' introduces some choral harmonies that wouldn't look out of place on a Piana record. Son rise.

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