“Songs From the Land”, the third full length record from Luis Mojica is one I’d say you should be certainly excited for. The perfect blend of folk, narrative opus, and mythology, Mojica has not only crafted one of the most lyrically intricate albums of the year, but one of the most beautiful sounding. Not since Bjork’s Utopia have I been so easily transported to a peaceful world of transcendent scenery and emotions.
Mojica’s high pitched voice acts as a welcoming guide to a weary familiar but wholly original world. Things kick off incredibly strong with the opener “Northbound” which beats like a human heart as Mojica croons about the atmosphere, a call to the larger world and an emphasis on rock, dirt, movement all of which will become major thematic staples of the whole album. “Colonized” is a southern spun track about the desire to be free after being consumed and plugged in far too long. Each track is especially wonderful for its usage of continuity, so while every track is enjoyable on its own, for me the best way to take it in is as a whole. “All In Awe”, which is how I’d describe myself after listening to the album with lines like “I saw the red light swinging in the blues” is definitely the most performative in a theatrical sense as far as Mojica’s voice goes. It’s intriguing and mysterious lyrics that talk about the beauties of nature and the self only grow after the songs initial minute long opening that’s a somber rumination. “Mountains” feels almost like a musical equivalent of the film “The Revenant”, with its cold tired wide eyed wonder.
“Take me to the long cold mountains” Mojica sings and the production leans into the imagery by layering instruments in a way that evokes grand heights and a feeling of smallness compared to something larger than life. “Strange Disease” is a heartsick track dripping with sensual attitude and wonderfully evocative vocal work. It’s almost deceptive in how it plays with your head and heart as to what the titular disease is referring to. “White Lies” comes out of the fog with its guitar work that reminds me of early Leonard Cohen. “He came from the east with white eyes” is a line that cements Mojica as a stellar storyteller, with others like “Peace it is a shapeshifter of color, sex and size.” “Call In” next to closer “Black Bear” is one of the shortest tracks with a sort of breathing room energy that allows the album to refocus after growing tangential with its last few tracks.
“Pine Child” and “Black Magick” work together effortlessly back to back since they’re the most sonically ambitious with the ending track “Black Bear” working as an almost deliberately confounding ending that will stick with you for weeks. “Songs From the Land” feels like a lost journal uncovered by a pure soul, and it’s lucky that we’re spoiled to hear it transcribed into one of the most beautiful albums of the year.
by Jenifer Munoz