Juana Molina at The Triple Door

Juana MolinaJuana Molina was a new name to me. Her music is usually classed as world music as she sings in Spanish. Her second release, Segundo, was named as best world album by Entertainment Weekly in 2004.

But Molina transcends the category of world music. She belongs along the ranks of singer-songwriters who experiment at the edges of folk and electronica. Her guest vocals on 2007 track, Seal by the Chemical Brothers, is a good example of her musical versatility.

The Argentine singer-songwriter was already famous in her home country as a TV comedic actress before she gave it up in 1996 to pursue her musical career. Her latest album, Wed 21, was released last year to critical acclaim and she was frequently featured on NPR.

She brought her mix of electronic loops and swoops to The Triple Door in Seattle on April 21. It was a well suited location for an act like Molina as it is mainly a seated venue, where concert goers can enjoy Thai dishes providing by the neighbouring Wild Ginger restaurant.

A confident musician, Molina recreated the sonic layers of her album, accompanied on her flights of fantasy by keyboardist and guitarist Odin Schwartz and drummer Diego López.

The richly textured songs came to life as she looped her guitar or keyboard. At times, she used her voice as an additional instrument, sampling it so that it serves as a backdrop to the hypnotic rhythm and melody of her tracks.

Her complex and intricate songs leapt off the stage as the fragments of melody and insistent rhythm danced in the air to recreate the otherworldly feel of her music.

Molina put on a remarkably inventive and captivating musical performance. Imagine Bjork crossed with Imogen Heap, produced by Nigel Goodrich of Radiohead fame. It was a rare treat to experience an artist whose songs are like aural fables – inventive, eclectic and captivating tales told in beats, harmonies and loops.

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