The fact that Juana Molina was once one of Argentina’s top comedians isn’t too surprising. Though she’s more known to the world as a musician now, her work is still irreverent, full of wordplay and musical flourishes that jab you in the side. Watching her perform is transfixing, too, as she layers sounds with a pair of looping pedals. A lot of loop-based musicians go full ‘Wall-of-Sound’ with their technique; Molina keeps things deceptively simple. Maybe it’s her comedic background, but her songs are rigorously constructed: setup. Punchline. Setup. Punchline.
At the same time, Molina is one of the more experimental pop musicians working these days, and it’s no wonder she once opened for David Byrne. Halo (that album art!) is her seventh album in two decades, and over time, she’s polished her aesthetic into a gem. “Cosoco” is driven by Molina’s jittery dreaminess, revolving around some tricky rhythms and her inventive guitar. Singing in Spanish about a relationship gone sour, she journeys all the way back to Adam and Eve for a comparison, compressing millennia and myth with an economy of words. It seems fitting: for Molina, the human comedy started at the beginning, and it’s only looped its way across time.
“Cosoco” appears on Halo, out April 28.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX