Juana Molina’s Unique Musical Vision

Juana Molina

Monday, April 21

It’s rare to have tremendous success in the arts, let alone twice and in two different disciplines. But that’s just what Argentina’s Juana Molina has done. She may not be a household name here, but in Latin America she is widely known for her roles on several late ’80s and early ’90s television comedies. Since then, however, she has reinvented herself as a singer/songwriter—not as a puppet in some kind of major-label marketing scheme, but through her unique musical vision, which has earned her critical praise and comparisons to well-respected artists like Björk and Beth Orton.

Her latest album, Wed 21, is rich with textures, loops, and hallucinations, a patchwork of sounds and moods that The New York Times says “perches on the edge of delirium.” The dreamlike quality of her compositions is largely based on the way she creates them. “I usually get hypnotized by some sequence of chords, or even just one chord that I arpeggiate on the guitar,” she recently told Seattle Weekly via Skype from her Buenos Aires home. “I get abducted by that sound, and I can play that for hours and hours and hours.” She estimates that about 85 percent of the album is based on these spontaneous moments. “I know it sounds like a cliché, but I feel like I am guided somehow. I feel that it’s the instruments or the sounds that tell me what to do with them.”

Despite her songs’ complex arrangements, Molina tries to keep her live show organic. “I’ve been fighting against having a computer onstage since the beginning,” she says. “I prefer to rely on things that won’t crash.” Her upcoming Triple Door show will be her first Seattle appearance since 2009, and she’s playing just a handful of U.S. dates before heading to Europe in May. She prepared for these by playing the inaugural Brazilian Lollapalooza. “[I went on] early because you had these huge monsters playing. I couldn’t play after Nine Inch Nails,” she laughs. “They were out of this world, by the way. They blew my mind away.” With Daniel G. Harmann. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, thetripledoor.net. 7:30 p.m. $20 adv./$25 DOS.

 
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