Music Reviews

Stulbach, however, isn’t looking forward to returning to a New York winter; she and Root hope to go back to Mexico and Brazil again. Or maybe not. Stulbach doesn’t like to make plans. “I feel like everything I try really hard to do doesn’t happen, but when I’m waiting for somebody’s phone call, the moment I stop thinking about it, the phone rings.”

Mosquitos lead singer Juju Stulbach witnessed a Day Of The Dead celebration a year ago while she and guitarist Chris Root traveled through Mexico. “They had ?owers and mole and chocolate—whatever food that their loved ones liked the best when they were alive. And lots of prayers,” Stulbach says. “It was the ?rst time I thought about death as so much a part of life.”

That experience helped inspire III, Mosquitos’ latest, and yes, third album. Present still are the candy-coated bossa novas and sanguine pop of 2004’s Sunshine Barato. But III also re?ects the bittersweet nature of that vacation. After Mexico, Stulbach and Root went to Brazil to see her family. Her mother passed away during the visit. Looking back, though, she sees the good fortune hidden in the loss: “I was lucky enough to be in a beautiful and mystical, spiritual place right before she died, which I think prepared me to go through [her death] later.”

Stulbach’s mourning comes through on “UFO,” where she sings about paralyzing sadness, though her voice remains suffused with a lilting warmth. Other tracks, such as “Mama’s Belly,” are packed with heady, spinning-in-circles joy. This joy carries over to Mosquitos’ current live show, where the threesome has expanded to include new backup singers and dancers.

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