Fingertips Flashback: Juana Molina (from September 2008)

I’m going to nudge the weekly update into early next week from late this week, which, due to the vagaries of life, happens from time to time. But lord knows there’s any amount of old material on the site with which, I’m guessing, not everyone is entirely familiar. Thus the existence of the intermittent “Fingertips Flashback.” Here’s an oddly captivating song from 2008:

Juana Molina

“Un Día” – Juana Molina

[from September 23, 2008]

I suggest giving yourself some time and space to take this one in. Being in an altered state might help, although this song, if you open yourself to it, might help you achieve one.

A long-time Fingertips favorite, Molina returns with a crazy, churning, ecstatic daze of a song. The Argentinian former sitcom star has, as a musician, pioneered an alluring if evasive sort of folktronica, with lots of loops and repetition. “Un Día” is some of that, but also something else entirely. Despite how rigorously plotted out and worked over this sort of song construction probably is, Molina here sounds almost nuttily spontaneous and expansive, both musically and vocally. Ecstatic, yes: there seems something nearly spiritual in the air as Molina all but chants—her voice sounds freer, more unrestrained than in the past—against a marvelously textured and continually varying undercurrent of voice, electronics, horns, sounds, and percussion. As usual, for English-speaking listeners, the language adds another element of incomprehensibility, but she appears to be aiming in that direction in any case; one of the lyrics here, translated, reads: “One day I will sing the songs with no lyrics and everyone can imagine for themselves if it’s about love, disappointment, banalities or about Plato.”

“Un Día” is the title track from Molina’s forthcoming album, her fifth, due out next month on Domino Records. Can’t wait to hear the whole thing. MP3 via Stereogum.

ADDENDUM: Un Día remains Molina’s most recent release. On her web site, three concerts are listed for February 2013; this is the first sign of life on the site since 2011, so maybe she is getting ready to reemerge. In looking around for news of what she’s been up to, I saw something on her Wikipedia page I hadn’t previously come across, or didn’t remember—that she provided the voice for Elastigirl (the Holly Hunter role) in the Argentine dub of the film The Incredibles. It does not appear that she has otherwise gone back to acting since her days starring in the huge hit Juana y sus hermanas, which she cancelled at the height of its popularity in 1994.

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