Confessional singer-songwriter Luis Mojica has released his new single ‘City Friends’. Earlier, he announced his new album ‘How A Stranger Is Made’, to be released in early October, while teasing the first single ‘The Ranger’.
This album features production from Mercury Prize winning producers David Baron (Bat For Lashes, Peter Murphy, Lenny Kravitz, The Lumineers) and Simone Felice (The Lumineers, Bat For Lashes, Dan Mangan) and mixing by three-time Grammy award-winning producer Justin Guip (Levon Helm).
Mojica’s new long-play is intimate and empathic – a beautiful tapestry of piano-driven songs that quite intimately express his healing journey through shamanism, sexuality, trauma and ecstatic joy.
“I wrote this song while walking in NYC’s East Village. The St. Mark’s bookstore had just closed, my favorite tree in Washington Square Park was severed in half, and all around me my beloved neighborhood was changing so rapidly. I walked around feeling so much loss and, this song, became a container for me to pour all kinds of loss I had experienced into it. The loss of friendships, lovers, cities, cultures, identity of self. I finished the song years after leaving the city for Woodstock, NY. You can hear a duality in the track: a somber, lonely piano and vocals against an upbeat drum and then a full on ecstatic sounding chorus. It was my way of celebrating the loss, the gentrification, and the betrayal – in hindsight. It all brought me to a new life that was much better for me. So I became grateful for the forced growth and transformation,” says Luis Mojica.
“I asked 25 of my friends in Woodstock, NY to each lip sync one line from the song to create a diverse cast of individuals threaded together with the same sentiment: “I lost something”. The song, originally about NYC, became an anthem for us in Woodstock as we’ve experienced so much change in class, culture, and business. Woodstock is quickly evolving and that old, messy, timeless wild that attracted us to the area is disappearing. I shot the video at the last dive bar, now closed and abandoned, that graced Woodstock’s main street. The video features all locals of Woodstock, most of them my dearest friends, as an almost anthropological project to preserve and document this fading era of people and place”.
‘How A Stranger Is Made’ follows up Mojica’s first studio album ‘Wholesome’, released in August 2016 after two years of touring with the avant-garde cello band Rasputina. He toured this album, which features his unique style of live looped beat boxing and rich vocal harmonies, both as support for Rasputina and as headliner. The album’s limited pressing sold out quite quickly and now is only available digitally.
A pianist and vocalist now based in Woodstock, New York, Mojica began developing his unique musical style in the crowded apartments and crumbling theaters of NYC’s East Village. In 2012, he moved upstate to the mountains of the Hudson Valley, where he’s become renowned for both his holistic healing work, as well as his musical compositions.
Piano-based, his songs blend his 3+ octave vocal range to create choir-like textures, as well as utilizing unusual character voices and harmonies that explore androgyny, spirituality, and unorthodox male identity. Mojica’s music and sound esthetic is inspired by Leonard Cohen, Tori Amos, Patti Smith, Joanna Newsom and Kate Bush.
The scenario, filming and direction for this video were all handled by by Mojica himself. Video editing was performed by Joel Patterson at Mountaintop Studios in Petersburgh, NY. The accompanying video was written, filmed and directed by Kelly Merchant with editing and compositing by Fredo Viola. Merchant also took the photo for the cover artwork, while Viola designed it.
‘City Friends’ and ‘The Ranger’ are now available across digital platforms, including Spotify. It is also available via Bandcamp and can be immediately downloaded when ordering the full ‘How A Stranger Is Made’ album, set to release on October 4.
Written, arranged, and performed by Luis Mojica except ‘Stranger Song’ (written by Leonard Cohen)
‘Queen Song’ produced by Simon Felice & David Baron
‘Cowboys’ mixed by Fredo Viola
‘Stranger Song’ mixed, recorded and co-produced by Fredo Viola
Other songs mixed by Justin Guip
Piano and vocals recorded by Jason Sarubbi
Evan Glen Adams – drums
Caelan Manning – saxophone
Sister Ursuline – cello
Rebecca Moore – violin on ‘The Ranger’
Anders Bostrom – flute
Al Romao – Percussion and arrangement on ‘Witch Love’
Jason Sarubbi – bass & bass arrangements on ‘The Ranger’, ‘Witch Love’ and ‘Invoked’
Mastering by Mike Tierney
All photos by Kelly Merchant
Oct. 09 Brooklyn, NY – Pete’s Candy Store
Oct. 19 Kingston, NY – BSP (as part of VegFest)
Oct. 25 Burlington, VT – Radio Bean