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Wed 21

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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.

Customer Reviews

The Cover Catches Your Eye, the Music Catches Your Ear

When Juana Molina decided to abandon a successful career on Argentine television, there were plenty of naysayers. Her brilliant 1996 debut album, 'Rara' (Strange), produced by Argentine music producer Gustavo Santaolalla (composer of the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack), proved them wrong. It reflected her sense of humor (she was a respected comedian) and her musical complexity by combining Argentine folk with hypnotically repetitive electronica beats.

Recently on NPR's Alt.Latino she spoke about how she layers her music, one element after another, until a structure forms. Case in point: her first single, "Eras", from her much anticipated new album, 'Wed 21'. The song immediately washes over you with the trance-like, almost tribal beats she's mastered over the years, and a deep bass line she weaves in and out of with whispering vocals.

Molina's soft-spoken voice has always been the biggest obstacle for me to overcome as a listener, but I've come around to understanding that there is plenty of nuance to it. At times she sounds serene, but in songs like "Eras" there's an exasperation, which is appropriate — this song has an underlying darkness, a frustration. Toward the end she's singing about someone she's been waiting for through many years, many lives even.

In perfect Juana Molina form, the frenetic beat is as insane and darkly hilarious as being stuck in a repetitive situation with someone who is dragging you through the motions for, as she sings, uno, dos, tres ... siete vidas (seven lives).
- Jasmine Garsd NPR

Dreamy and relaxing

I love the instruments used, very jazzy feel. Heard a song on the radio and I had to look her up after!

Grabs you and doesn't let go

Very fresh, meditative but rhythmic with an unexpected twist. I am a fan over nite.

Biography

Born: 1962 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Juana Molina is a singer/songwriter from Argentina whose quirky, atmospheric songs bring to mind modern chanteuses such as Lisa Germano and Beth Orton. Best known in South America as a comedic television actress, Molina debuted in 1996 with Rara, which initially seemed like just another celebrity vanity project. However, the album was simple, direct, and intimate: three things that usually fall outside the ego scope of most celeb music projects. Apparently, Molina was happy pursuing other interests...
Full Bio
Wed 21, Juana Molina
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