Mesmerizing electro-folk from Argentinean TV star
The notion of smashing together gritty acoustic strums, sweet vocals and clean electro-beats may’ve been novel once, but the juxtaposition has been tired for while now.
Still, unlike kindred spirit Beth Orton, Argentinean actress-turned-indie-heroine Juana Molina manages to coo new life into an old, sleepy idea, infusing her whispery folk songs with strange twists and bizarre, almost-Tropicalian breakdowns. Molina sings in her native Spanish—meaning if there are mushy clichés at work here, most of us can only half-understand them. And she folds in found sounds (haunting bird chirps on “La Verda”) and skronking, possibly awry synthesizers (see the addictively breathless “Yo No”) to build a darker, more sinister landscape. Son
is Molina’s fourth full-length, and it nudges toward a slightly more experimental sound—lulling without being tedious, compelling without diddling into pretension, and always perfectly mesmerizing.