The last time we heard from Luis Mojica it was on his album Wholesome which received Top Album honors. He is back with How A Stranger Is Made which contains piano based songs that are layered with emotionally resonant instrumentation. He teamed up with Mercury Prize Winning producers David Baron & Simone Felice (Lumineers & Bat For Lashes), as well as Grammy Award Winning producer Justin Guip (Levon Helm).
There is a cohesive quality that is brought together with a palette of sounds which is reinforced throughout the album. The anchor you might say is clean piano and Mojica’s vocals. All that said the album is thick with emotion which comes in different forms.
Take for instance the opener “Insane.” The song contains thought provoking lyrics but there is also a sense of gratitude and even a playful quality that runs through it. If you compare that to the much more solemn and haunting “Invoked” you will most certainly notice a very different pattern of energy. A song like “Invoked” does feel theatrical and like it could be performed in a full on broadway play. You get that sense on a song like “Shaman Food” but with more dance worthy riffs that isn’t all that far away from sounding like something you might hear on The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The feeling that these songs are full on productions is continued with the songs like “Moon Men,” “Cowboys” and many others. There are some songs that hint at more mystical experiences as the cover art implies. “Witch Love” sounds like what you might think an Ayahuasca Ceremony sounds like.
I enjoyed “City Friends and “Queen Song” but “The Ranger” seemed to be straight up the catchiest song on the album. The closing act you might say is “Stranger Song” which is so theatrical I felt like I was at a play.
Even if this music isn’t your thing you can’t deny the artistry, attention to detail and scope of these songs. If it is your thing then get ready. It’s a very immersive audio experience. Take a listen.
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