Songs From The Land is the most recent release from Luis Mojica. The artist in the past has produced impressive albums which earned TOP ALBUM honors. This release felt a little more stripped back and not as theatrical as his previous releases. The new album also has an organic quality to it as if the songs are coming from the earth. I think some of that has to do with the instrumentation but also the lyrics and imagery presented throughout.
The first song “Northbound” is an example of this. It starts with subtle percussion, guitar and vocals. There’s a stillness in the air and other instruments blossom and feel like they are flora and fauna coming from the dirt in the ground. I loved the harp and the overall mystical quality to the song.
Up next is “Colonized” and this song has a dose of spaghetti western. I was immediately thinking of vast deserts and Quentin Tarantino movies. The groove is catchy, relying on a steady 4/4 kick and surrounding elements which made me feel like I was on horseback. “All In Awe” sheds that vibe and replaces it with something more mystical and ethereal. The vocals are emotive and match the music well. I also really enjoyed the lyrics on this which have a religious connotation.
“Mountains” is a little more somber but also one of the more meditative songs on the album. It felt like a warm pillow. The song is a slow burn and unfolds with other elements like vocal chants and orchestral strings.
“Strange Disease” is quite impressive as well. There’s this mix between stillness and kinetic energy. That old western vibe we hear on “Colonized” is revisited on “White Lies.” Although early Leonard Cohen came to mind as well. The guitar picking is great.
The vocal performance is exceptional on “Call In.” I was reminded of Donovan not only from the vocal inflection but also the lyrics on this one. The single “Pine Child” is the catchiest song on the album. I can see most people gravitating towards this song at first.
“Black Magick'' sounds very much like the title. It’s haunting and mystical. The album closes with a minute long song called “Black Bear” and sort of continues with more of that haunting energy.
The production and recording quality is superb. There’s a lot going on in most of these songs and everything not only sounded clear but has its own space.
This is my favorite album from the artist I’ve heard. There’s a feeling of him being confident and comfortable here and I felt it through the music. This is a well written and emotionally charged album and one of the best I’ve heard this year.
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