[19 August 2013]
If you are from Argentina, then you must have heard at least once from Juana Molina, especially if you’re also called Juana, like me. I remember that every time a friend’s mother saw me, she used to tell me: “Here comes Juana and her sisters!” Only two years ago I found out that she wasn’t referring to my real sisters, but to Juana Molina’s old TV show, Juana y sus hermanas.
I still can’t remember when or why I was once interested to listen to her music, but I know that my admiration towards her has only increased since then and that, no matter how cliché this phrase is, her music speaks to me like no other. Although many artists use looping, her songs are different for depending on it while still being able to sound organic. Her electro-folk is both serene and eccentric, while her voice can be soft but also hypnotizing in order to fuse with the rest of the instruments (which are all recorded by herself in her house) and become another one.
I’ve always thought of her music as a perfect autumn day: its mild brightness is warm enough to soften the slightly cold temperatures, and as it advances and develops slowly, just like the brown leaves fall unhurriedly from trees, you suddenly realize that the song has finished after all its splendor and that the branches are naked. It has its variations too: “Lo dejamos” is nocturne and lets the bad-tempered woman show up, while “Las culpas” sounds like the previous thunders before the storm begins.
On August 12th, Molina announced the release of her upcoming album, Wed 21, due out this October. In her new track, “Eras”, she neatly compressed all her creativity in just four minutes. As she repeats a catchy “Come, come quickly” – no matter how much I enjoy listening to Juana Molina, this is the first time I can call one of her songs catchy – she introduces us to an unknown playful facet of her.
After waiting her comeback so eagerly, I have to say that I didn’t expect it at all that it would be so immediate. Earlier this year, she said on an interview in the program Vivo en Argentina that it was very probable that the album wouldn’t be released in 2013. Besides, she was later back on TV to be part of a commercial for Claro, a mobile network company, once again performing the characters of Juana y sus hermanas—that was enough for her music’s fans to fear the worst.
But it isn’t only the music that I’m willing to listen to. Wed 21 will be the first album that Juana Molina will release since I started listening to her. Although I already know that she is more acclaimed abroad that in her home country, I’m excited to experience the day-to-day of the response to her new music, with all the articles that releasing an album involves. This week, I’ve seen in the most respected and popular music sites the announcement of her return as if she was simply another artist—and not an exotic creature from the south as I expected—while her listeners from all around the world showed in social networks how glad they were to hear from her again.
Juana Molina means for me a lot more than simply music for a mysterious reason that not even myself know. I could say that she is my hero; I admire her for all that she had to go through; for showing her deepness in her gentle melodies, for enduring and going against all the negative forecasts and for achieving what no other Argentine artist could ever achieve: to be part of the international music scene. If you’re from Latin America, then I’m sure that you can understand my enthusiasm, since our musicians are never recognized internationally—no matter how good they are. Therefore, it’s inevitable for me to worry about other people’s opinions on her upcoming album, and to cross my fingers for her to be acclaimed once again.
Although I’m nervous learning about how she has evolved in these five years and the repercussions that Wed 21 will have, I’m also certain that she is devoted to music, after she chose it over an easy and guaranteed future as an actress. In every album that she has released, she was able to recreate herself to embody an innovative, genuine, and introspective woman, and I don’t have any doubt that she will do it again.