Juana Molina against funky background
Credit: Antonella Arismendi

To experience a Juana Molina concert is to be swept away in a most particular sort of rapture. In the late 80s and early 90s, the Argentine singer-songwriter had a successful career in television and comedy before changing gears to pursue music. An early proponent of combining South American folk music and electronica, Molina introduced her unconventional style with her 1996 debut album, Rara (whose title means “strange, odd, or weird”). Over the decades since, she’s developed a mesmerizing signature sound that deploys eerie vocal experiments within quirky, intimate tunes that juxtapose folk guitar with detuned synthesizers, loops, and drones and sometimes dip into punk or rock; the most recent example, discounting a live album from 2020, is her 2019 four-song EP, Forfun. Molina’s compositions are highly evocative, and any attempt to extract meaning from her lyrics adds only fragments to the whole. This open-endedness has only helped her gain international traction beyond the Spanish-speaking world. In a statement on her Facebook page, Molina says her spring 2022 performances will convey the quiet sense of freedom she experienced during pandemic isolation: “I’ll improvise for you. I’ll start with songs as you know them and then hope I’ll be able to drag you in a tunnel of music.” The nature of Molina’s explorations—cathartic and soothing one moment, exhilarating and unsettling the next—promises to make any tumble down the rabbit hole with her a heady delight.

Juana Molina Arthur Moon, Thu 4/28, 8 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln, $27, $25 members, all ages