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‘The Ranger’ is intimate and empathic – a magnetic foreshadowing of Mojica’s new long-play, a beautiful tapestry of piano-driven songs that quite intimately express Luis’ healing journey through shamanism, sexuality, trauma and ecstatic joy.
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).
‘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.
“I never felt like I fit in with men. When I wrote ‘The Ranger’, I thought I had lost the one guy who really got me. I experienced such abandonment, betrayal, and loneliness. The gift of that experience was to see how on the edge of my own security I had been all my life and that I used these friends and people to make me feel seen and valid,” says Luis Mojica.
“With his absence, I had to become that source of security and validation for myself. So I had to become the rearranger of my own story of the Ranger. Like a long hallway of broken, beveled mirrors. Each perception of myself and the world needing to be questioned and fall apart so that I could get in touch with me again. Now, three years after writing it, I fit perfectly In the shape of my own body and mind – more than ever before.”
As of August 1, ‘The Ranger’ is available across all digital platforms. It is also available via Bandcamp and can be immediately downloaded when ordering the full ‘How A Stranger Is Made’ album, set for release on 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