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Juana Molina – “Un Dia” Review

I have spent a long time thinking about how on Earth to write a review about Juana Molina’s absolutely ear bendingly original sound and I just can’t quite work out the best way to describe it.

Juana’s music from the off with the title track, which is the most approachable of the lot, deals with a lot of layers of repetition that build and build to cement a track. Usually its formed from acoustic guitar, with some kind of bass and percussion flowing behind it. Then usually there’s a lot of bending, twirling, detuned electronic syntherisers that pitch shifts it way in a seemingly random interlude. Songs are actually quite hard to distinguish although “Un Dia” is the most straightforward album to date.

The title track has a real progression and Molina’s strong vocals soar over the top, “Vive Solo” follows a similar pattern while “Lo Dejemos” ends up going right off on a tangent. “Los Hongas De Marosa” is a great track of epic proportions while both “Quien” and especially “El Vestido” have great hooks and a real tune flowing out to greet you properly – something of a shocking feat.

Now I’m being quite disrespectful in that statement. Each song has a real melody and atmosphere to them and each song is hypnotic to the point where a seven minute song can feel like its only two minutes and also half an hour at the same time. You can’t help but get lost in the plughole swirl and downward spiral. Some may argue its not really music. I’d argue its absolute genius. “No Llama” takes effectively two chords and stretches them for all their worth while the closing track “Dar” see’s Juana just freak out with the pitch bender for several minutes!

Absolutely barmy from start to finish, “Un Dia” is a work of unhinged art. It’s not for the faint hearted, nor is it for anyone who expects three minute specific song structures. This is acoustic electronica for the avant garde.

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