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A Sneak Peek At Juana Molina's 'Wed 21'


NPR Music's First Listen at npr.org gives us a chance to hear an upcoming album in its entirety before it is released. Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton helped choose the featured albums. They're the hosts of NPR's show and blog, ALL SONGS CONSIDERED. Today, Bob and Robin are here to tell us about the latest release from Argentine musician Juana Molina, called "Wed 21."

ROBIN HILTON, BYLINE: Bob Boilen, you remember when we first discovered Juana Molina about 10 years ago, with that amazing record she put out, called "Segundo"?

BOB BOILEN, BYLINE: I do. And every time she puts out a record, there's always a sense of adventure to whatever she does.


JUANA MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish)

BOILEN: That's the opening cut to Juana Molina's new record. This song is called "Eras."

HILTON: Yeah. In this cut, she talks - it seems like she's almost speaking in nonsense, but she's obviously talking about a lot of bitterness and regret. She says you were everything. Nothing will make me happy. The knife you sunk in me, it goes away when you say come, come quickly.

BOILEN: And the music, though, is this real smooth and nice what you think of when you maybe think of music from Argentina. However, if you listen to some of the weird sounds and stuff that go on, this is not always an easily accessible record.


MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish)

BOILEN: She's so inventive and takes music - you know, a lot of people who play synths do this beat-based music. There's none of that going on here, right?

HILTON: Yeah. One of the things that sets Juana Molina's electronics apart from so many others is they sound very organic. It's almost like they were made by some living things, some strange creatures are creating these sounds, creatures you've never seen or heard before. The sounds just sort of wheeze and groan and buzz.


MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish)

HILTON: By the time you reach the end of the song - they're just these massive, gorgeously layered songs. They're very hypnotic, and she says that she often gets hypnotized by her own songs as she's recording them in the studio and has to snap out of it just in order to finish them.


MOLINA: (Singing in Spanish)

INSKEEP: That was ALL SONGS CONSIDERED hosts Robin Hilton and Bob Boilen on Juana Molina's new album, "Wed 21." You can hear the full album at npr.org/Music, and you can hear an interview with Juana Molina at our Latin music podcast, Alt.Latino. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.