12 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With five years between Wed 21 and Juana Molina’s last album, Un Dia, one might expect a jarring stylistic shift or new direction. Fans of the Argentinian alt-rock musician will find not just a thread of continuity here, but an even more robust expression of the artist’s craft. Songs thrum and hum; loops of acoustic guitar notes and braided vocal parts envelope listeners in an intimate cocoon of artisanal nü-folk. Molina’s delicate whispered coos make great bedfellows to the subtle washes of woozy synths and percussion inflected with a Brazilian spice. What keeps Molina’s music from being sweet, predictable, or pure folk is her kind of wild-card aesthetic: it's not too far from that of Wildbirds & Peacedrums or the punky folker Micachu. There’s a jazzy element, a playful mix of ideas, and a boldness to Molina's work. But every part is there for a reason; every tonal twist or dash of sour or bittersweet is carefully planned. Wed 21 is smart and a bit addictive, and it may send some non–Spanish speakers to nearby classrooms to learn how to sing along.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With five years between Wed 21 and Juana Molina’s last album, Un Dia, one might expect a jarring stylistic shift or new direction. Fans of the Argentinian alt-rock musician will find not just a thread of continuity here, but an even more robust expression of the artist’s craft. Songs thrum and hum; loops of acoustic guitar notes and braided vocal parts envelope listeners in an intimate cocoon of artisanal nü-folk. Molina’s delicate whispered coos make great bedfellows to the subtle washes of woozy synths and percussion inflected with a Brazilian spice. What keeps Molina’s music from being sweet, predictable, or pure folk is her kind of wild-card aesthetic: it's not too far from that of Wildbirds & Peacedrums or the punky folker Micachu. There’s a jazzy element, a playful mix of ideas, and a boldness to Molina's work. But every part is there for a reason; every tonal twist or dash of sour or bittersweet is carefully planned. Wed 21 is smart and a bit addictive, and it may send some non–Spanish speakers to nearby classrooms to learn how to sing along.

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