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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Son of a?genius

By Danny Letz

Juana Molina


Domino Records

Five out of five stars

It’s weird to say that the best folk album of the year may be imported in another language, but facts are facts.

You’ve probably never heard of Argentinean folk/electronic artist Juana Molina. You’ve probably never heard of her third release, Son, either, which is a shame. The album, though foreign, holds true to one of the most fundamental qualities of good music: universality.

Those unable to speak or understand Spanish need not fear: Molina’s simply melodic, earth-driven tunes play easily whether the words construct intelligible thoughts or merely sound as notes in Molina’s musical schemata.

Playing with less pretension and more accessibility than comparative artists like Bjrk, Molina combines the genres of electronica and folk with ease and grace. Shifting on the track “Un Beso Llega” from human voices to a chorus of feline sounds at first may seem disturbing (especially for those unacquainted with the Disney film “The Aristocats”). But in the context of the song, and Molina’s album in general, such movements aren’t excessive. They’re appropriate.

Molina succeeds in constructing a low-key, electronically infused folk sound that incorporates easy acoustic guitar lines, the percussive simplicity of single bongo drums and the smoothly haunting voice of the singer herself, which flows over the background tunes like water.

For fans of songwriters such as Damien Rice, Nick Drake, Elliot Smith and even groups such as Belle and Sebastian, Molina’s work should come as a welcome gift-a piece that satisfies, and then exceeds, expectations.

So do yourself a favor: Now that you’ve heard of Molina, go pick up Son as soon as possible. It’s by far a welcome change from the endless repetition of most other radio-driven works currently being released: It’s actually worth listening to.

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