Juana Molina | Mayne Stage | International | Chicago Reader

Juana Molina Recommended All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sun., Feb. 22, 8 p.m. 2009

The music on Juana Molina’s latest album, Un Dia (Domino), is warm, accessible, and melodic, all without partaking of the familiar forms of the pop song. Instead the Argentinean singer’s entrancing and intensely intimate tunes, created by layering innumerable rapidly undulating loops, sound like their structures were modeled after the gentle propagation and collision of ripples on a pond. Molina played and recorded everything herself (aside from some guitar from Vashti Bunyan sideman Gareth Dickson), building a constantly morphing mesh of heavily treated keyboard, subdued guitar, and samples of her own voice, underpinned by programmed beats and crowned by her Spanish-language melodies. She shapes the songs with an intuitive elegance, so that no matter how crowded the arrangements or how elaborate the sequence of mutations each component goes through, the music retains a charming smallness and modesty. And even though the backing tracks were largely pieced together in a computer, her singing has such an electric spontaneity that the total production conveys an invigorating openness and sense of discovery—she gets more out of this kind of one-person recording setup than anyone I’ve ever heard. Tonight she’ll realize Un Dia onstage with a new three-piece band. —Peter Margasak

Price: $20

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