It’s no secret that Argentine singer-songwriter Juana Molina likes to take her time between albums. It’s not out of caprice, but rather, it’s a chance to develop all the ideas she’s going to let us taste next – with time to do some heavy touring as well. Luckily, like her 2013 album Wed 21, her full-lengths are intricate and compelling enough to digest for years. But the former TV comic is now ready to throw us another bone; she just announced the release of her seventh record Halo, once again through Belgian imprint Crammed Discs.
Recorded between her home studio in Argentina and Texas’ Sonic Ranch Studio, Halo finds Molina backed by her trusty live band; Odin Schwartz, Diego Lopez de Arcaute, and longtime collaborator Eduardo Bergallo have returned. Deerhoof’s John Dietreich also shows up for a guest spot.
The album’s quirky artwork features a bone with eyes. As she told Exclaim!, the imagery represents “us being watched by the entire history of paleontology…Buried bones were believed to be the cause of luz mala, that strange halo which floats above the ground and scares travelers at night.”
“Cosoco,” the first single off Halo, is wholly Juana Molina, from its odd 7/4 time signature to the looped guitar motif. She dedicates a full minute and 40 seconds to setting up the context, singing about how the spell casted upon her after she ate a poisoned apple is wearing off, a metaphor for the way keeping secrets can affect a relationship. The rhythm of the quarter-note cymbal rolls drops into a full-band affair, setting off a journey of rollercoaster dynamics and improvised, abstract synth solos.
Halo is out May 5 on Crammed Discs. Peep the tracklist below.
2. Sin dones
3. Lentísimo halo
4. In the lassa
6. Cálculos y oráculos
7. Los pies helados
8. A00 B01
9. Cara de espejo
12. Al oeste