How A Stranger Is Made

by Luis Mojica

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    This is a limited, one-of-a-kind 7" vinyl of the track "The Ranger" recorded live at Leesta Vall Sound Recordings in Brooklyn, NY.

    Each record is a one-of-a-kind live take. It's a beautiful clear vinyl and was recorded with my band; Evan Glen Adams on drums & Caelan Manning on the saxophone.

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  • Full Digital Discography

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about

How A Stranger Is Made is the second studio album by Luis Mojica. The record was recorded at The Old Dutch Church in Kingston, NY as well as at Split Rock Studios in New Paltz, NY by Jason Sarubbi. It features 11 piano-based songs that incorporate the wurlitzer, celesta, harpsichord, organ, saxophone, percussion and a rich texture of backing vocals that display Luis' wide 3+ octave vocal range.

This record follows Luis' journey into the deep parts of his mind and heart, as he faces and transforms unresolved pain into bliss and freedom. Sexuality, male identity, betrayal, love, and spirituality, particularly shamanism, are consistent themes on the record. The songs are very personal, as if taken from the artist's personal journals.

The record was arranged, performed, written, and produced by Luis. He is joined on this album by Mercury Prize nominated producers David Baron & Simone Felice who have worked with artists like Bat For Lashes, Peter Murphy, & The Lumineers. The record was mixed by Grammy Award winner Justin Guip (Levon Helm) & award winning vocalist/composer Fredo Viola. Photography for the record was shot by Kelly Merchant and the album design was created by Fredo Viola.

credits

released October 4, 2019

All songs were written, performed, arranged, and produced by Luis Mojica with the exception of Stranger Song, which was written by Leonard Cohen.

All songs were mixed by Justin Guip.

Queen Song was produced & recorded by David Baron & Simone Felice.

Flute arrangement on City Friends by Anders Bostrom. Saxophone arrangement on The Ranger by Caelan Manning. Additional drum arrangement on Shaman Food & Moon Men by Evan Glen Adams. Percussion arrangement for Witch Love by Al Romao. Violin arrangement for The Ranger by Rebecca Moore. Bass & bass arrangement on Invoked, Witch Love, & The Ranger by Jason Sarubbi.

Stranger Song vocals were recorded by Fredo Viola in Bearsville, NY.
Stranger Song was mixed & co-produced by Fredo Viola in Bearsville, NY.

Vocals & drums were recorded by Jason Sarubbi at Split Rock Studios in New Paltz, NY.

All piano tracks, with the exception of Queen Song, were recorded by Jason Sarubbi on the Yamaha baby grand piano at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston, NY.

All songs mastered by Mike Tierney at Shiny Things Studio in Brooklyn, NY.

Photography by Kelly Merchant.

Album design by Fredo Viola.

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Luis Mojica Woodstock, New York

"From chamber pop to indie to a quasi-baroque style all bundled within the mind of a genius"

- Jammerzine

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Track Name: Insane
I don’t know you,
But I’d like to know you,
When will I get to show you my heart?

I have been through some long stories,
Would you like to hear them?
I’ll warn you,
They’re dark.

But you have such strong shoulders,
Your eyes never glaze over,
You know how to enter my brain.

You know how to hold me,
You know how it unfolds me,
You know how to keep me from
Going insane!

Insane,
Tell me my name,
Quick, before I go insane!

My stories make the girls cry,
The boys avoid my green eyes,
My species and my Spirit are not tied.

And though you do not have a heartbeat,
I’ll lend mine to your dead trees,
And touch you where your body is black and white.

And then you’ll make my eyes roll back,
You’ll make my voice and knuckles crack,
You cleanse my thoughts that cause me so much shame.

Without you I would struggle,
Not to rot in mental rubble,
Without you I would certainly be,
Going Insane!

And when I feel it bubbling up,
I run for sanity in your sweet love.

And I hope,
I pray,
I won’t go,
Insane!
Track Name: Shaman Food
They talk to Spirit,
Then they eat french fries,
It’s a long, long road,
Until they die.

They cover up,
In some chemical,
Imposture of saffron,
It’s their cubicle-polluting-camouflage.

They claim that their life,
Is the only formal proof,
Wrapped in plastic,
They’ll preserve it just for you.

And then they claim to have found their shaman.
Shopping at their Dollar Store,
She’s a Purple Plastic Priestess,
For a fee she can be yours.

They leave their flies wide open,
And their hairs unkempt for God,
Still, you pay them,
To invade uncommon sod.

And leave that sacred Earth all open,
And exposed to blinding skies,
Because Americans,
Only eat Goddess fried.

And when your order’s up,
It’s not so easy to get down,
So the prophet chants,
And digestion abounds!

And in that deep-dish-entranced-well-wish,
Where serpents lash around,
Mediocre songs arouse,
That little pinecone in their crown.


And their songs take,
You to a dark place,
H/elixir of black snakes,
Will feast on you.

They talk to Spirit,
And order up from her french fries,
Not a tuber but a root,
To blow their mind.

Because your truth is so real,
During the intoxication,
Then a sham during,
Sober abnegation.

So go pray in the parking lot,
To find a spare dollar,
To undress her,
And caress her in your car.

And as you clutch your precious,
Former water bottle charm,
I will bind you from pursuing,
The Mother,
Or yourself,
Or anyone,
Any harm!
Track Name: Invoked
A plate of grains and cactus flesh charred,
Under a holy caste iron cross,
She’s convinced with tears falling down,
That she’s invoked the rock and roll star,
With electric charge.

And in her dreams,
She’s dancing,
With her phantom love.

A bride to this strange new lover,
Above her he floats and hovers,
Untouched love can only be sensed,
Warm blood stains her white virgin bed,
From electric arms.

And even in sheets,
No one can see,
Her electric love.

So her brain’s tamed,
Her Spirit’s caged,
By common folk who think.

That love so strange,
Must be deranged!
And should be shamed,
And locked away!

But who appointed you to give blame?
Or to decide which Witch gets the flame?
We invoke Spirit from above,
To send her protection and love,
On electric doves.
Track Name: Moon Men
You and I went to the park,
Hand in hand,
Flannel faerie dance,
Two young men,
Disturbed and obsessed with the rise in the population.

Strictly platonic,
You saved my jaw,
Still my heart crawled,
When you called,
You made telephone rings,
Grow butterfly wings inside of me.

You…

Well I hated you at first sight,
Just a gypsy boy dressed in white,
Just a midwest closet Queer,
Lost in New York City.

Then you enraptured me,
In your way of being free,
Sincerely,
You were the healer of men,
With the same old strange disease.

You found the boy inside my adult shell,
You saved him from the hell of gender spells,
You held him in your arms and kissed his long eyelashes,
You called him a Moon Man and his frozen heart melted.

Then we ran into the old gritty New City theater,
And played the grand piano,
Like good old Dellwood Barker.

We shared the bench at Tompkin’s park,
Where strangers smiled on our two hearts,
And predators preyed on our energies,
Not hawks,
Lost souls who’d pay to pray on our charcoal feet.

We let them cause we understood their Hell,
(Good old boys and girls)
They think us, drink us their own healing well,
(Won’t say no, won’t tell )
And then their golden lips rust over when we sound the bell,
(In servitude we dwell)
Because nothing can polish their tarnished shells,
Except the innocence of some unknowing Belle.

And it broke my heart,
To watch your spark,
Be used like cock,
For the broken jaws,
On the poor old restless fiends of the charcoaled streets.

It’s no wonder why you adored,
Every stranger,
And when they became too familiar,
You’d find a way onto a fire escape,
In a room without windows or doors.

And just like that our time was over,
No more spooning in the clovers,
My horses sensed your demons far too soon.

My own bride, of all people, drew you in,
Cause she’s one of the few Shaman,
Who knows how to love men who come from the Moon.

Two boys with falsettos
And dirty clothes,
Kissing like brothers,
We fell for the same woman,
But she was already my lover.
Track Name: Cowboys
Take it or leave it!

But don’t dare trust the cowboy,
When he claims he’s born a man,
My boy you are mistaken,
It’s your phantom skeleton.

He’ll steal you with his sex,
Then confess that you are his son,
You can’t trust every blind man,
When he tells you you’re handsome.


So take it or leave it!
Track Name: De La Saint
He’s known for talking,
Even walking in his sleep,
It can be disturbing,
To say the least.

Nothing prophetic,
Just pathetic moans and groans,
Grating his tongue,
On some cosmic vibrating telephone.

Dancing the limbo,
Under the white sheets,
Beneath the Moon,
His late night libido,
Unbeknownst to me,
Must me be pursued.

So I swallowed down,
My pride and his,
Kept my mouth shut,
Blessed amnesia,
Pours anesthesia into the cut.

De la saint de of the la ah saint de of the la!

He had the same DNA as me,
He made it known,
Souls can get lost,
Even in the safety,
Of their own homes.

Well my soul did flee
From thee and my invaded temple,
Until the Shaman,
Called it back in,
Mending up my soul.

Where his Spirit crept,
Was now just an empty bag of bones,
I called in the great Angel of Rain,
To bless my new home.

She said “If you want me
Come and unlock me,
On your own,
You open up real wide,
You let me deep inside,
Right when the sky explodes.”

Into your gaping mouth,
A rain-soaked rainbow grounds,
Re-baptized from your crown,
Way down to your bowels.

And then I pissed out all his sins,
And blew him a kiss into the wind.

You’ll never know,
Until you know,
How good it feels,
To have your innocence revealed.

Cause his Spirit crept,
Through my bowels and breasts,
All through the years,
Until I was met,
All soaking wet,
In her rainbow tears.

So if someone steals,
Your light away,
Call upon the saint of rain,
She’s there to dress,
Your naked pain.

Then I hear myself shout,
“Let the rainbow out!”
And as my lips touched God’s,
She threw down lightning rods.

De La Saint,
De of the La Ah Saint,
De of the La.
Track Name: Witch Love
Your mouth opens the portal in my throat,
Makes my entire body tremble and grow,
My mouth opens the waters of your womb,
I bathe myself in them before I enter you.

Incantations and new sensations,
Make me want to act on what your body likes,
Recreation through rose quartz inebriation,
This is what Witch Love is like,
And this is what Witch Love sounds like.

Moonlight floods in and fills your naked mouth,
Your hair grows blacker as the stars come spilling out,
I then flood in all wrapped inside your spell,
Your cup runneth over me like some baptismal well.

Invocations from rouge libations,
Grows a little spirit in my Moon Bride’s womb,
I feel it aching as I watch your body breaking,
I smell Mugwort and Roses in full bloom,
I see old stardust in her eyes so new.

Honey Bunny,
Dream sweet dreams for me,
Honey Bunny,
My sweet baby girl.

Honey Bunny,
Our love it grows deep and dark,
As she swallows my spark,
Till it hits her heart.

Darling you’re my darling,
Oh my baby from the stars,
You’re the slow fade in the twilight,
You’re the motor in the dark.

Darling of my darling,
Oh, the master of my heart,
You are the mists in the morning mountains,
You are the dark in between all the stars.

But still, my master, it’s hard to take you in, 
The flames burns deeper when the spark is your own twin,
Oh thy master and disaster of thine heart,
Teach me how to love you and to follow in the dark.

Revocations of old affirmations,
Helps me breathe into the world that you swim in,
Your Venus she spills and wails,
Her Scorpionic tail unveils,
A heart beat leaking rose petal perfumes.

A new moon saturated window view,
Bears a swollen river rushing out of you,
Where erotic pleasure plucked her from the ether,
You fade to white as the night sky delivers,
My arms hold blood and flesh from your own womb,
And I nod in and out while her eyes blue,
Bear a tear drop galaxy out of her eyes so new.
Track Name: City Friends
Walking through the city a small tear drops down,
It seems they’ve made a suburb of our wild old town,
I think of all the friends who’ve left and those who have stayed,
To taste the mountain air, or dirt, in their own graves.

When your friends turn into ghosts and then they haunt you,
When your friends become possessed and then they want to,
Take up residence inside of your chest to taunt you,
It’s the only way they say they know how to love you,
Maybe it’s the only way they ever tried to?

I done dew dropped in like mountain mist on a fern’s wet tear,
I looked for the proof in words from songs that brought me here,
I found train stations, renovations, and broken trees,
I knelt down to pray before eviction eulogies.

While the best minds of my generation got lost,
And blinded by the sleek design of some loan shark,
Who’s plastic fins never did circle in my heart,
Because I know imitation from sincere art.

When your city turns to gold and it won’t hold you,
When the land you love the most overthrows you,
And all your sacred words and dreams become exposed to,
Some spoiled fiend who claimed to love your heart and soul,
Then turned your authenticity into style.

You know it’s bad when tourists dress like native Gods,
And you have a hard time telling both of them apart,
Because it’s just too easy to look up and steal the part,
And trick yourself into the template of that heart,
Until your shell rusts over from stolen sparks.
Track Name: The Ranger
There is a man in my dreams,
Let’s call him The Ranger,
He acts like a friend,
But he’s really a stranger.

In my dreams,
We played each other’s songs,
But for him,
All of my writing is wrong.

He can’t feel,
Anyone else’s verse,
And he can’t deal,
With anyone else’s hurts.

Because his pain is his treasure box,
That he likes to flaunt,
That he likes to keep unlocked.

I know he knows me,
From a thousand lifetimes before,
I’ve called out his name,
From beneath his window,
I’ve groveled outside of his door.

He gave me his mind,
So I became The Re-Arranger
I gave him my heart,
And he held up a mirror.

Still, I was the fool,
Who fell into that narcissus cesspool,
Just another flaunt,
Drowning in their own drool.

For the Ranger,
I’m his savior,
That grave digger,
I keep him afloat.

But count on the Ranger,
To leave me in danger,
As his tears fill up,
The graves and make a moat.

It’s hard when you’re a man like him,
To find love from within,
It’s hard when you’re a man like he,
To find love for a man like me.

It’s hard when you’re a man like me,
Not to take things personally,
It’s hard when you’re a man like me,
To find men like me.

We’re strictly platonic,
Sometimes psychotic,
Always neurotic,
And oh so morose.

Friends yet strangers,
Becoming endangered,
Mama saviors,
From Daddy’s ghost.

The friends in our heads,
Sleep in our bed,
Love us instead,
So we can stay alone.

But he helped me see,
Through all of my glory,
The Ranger in me,
Deep in the unknown.
Track Name: Queen Song
There’s a woman that I,
Have known for a long time,
Her mother took her spine,
She invokes Jesus Christ,
She asks him to be kind,
“And please make me a bride,
Or else I must stay inside,
Forever cursed to live my mama’s life.”

Then her Holy Ghost arrives,
Singing some strange music,
Her heart has tried to hide,
As he sings a song from her own mind,
A warm light of some kind,
Trickles down her spine.

And they sing into the soundproofed night,
But by dawn Mother silenced her delight.

I don’t know what the Queen has said,
But I’d prefer you alive not dead.

Your love for me,
Divorces she,
And sets you free,
Don’t tell that Queen,
She’ll poison the trees,
And leave you grasping,
Those balding valleys,
My dear Christine.

She, now a crippled crawling bride,
Advances the hill side,
To watch her big star rise,
She in the blackness of the night,
Takes comfort in the white, warm electric light,
That beams a vision of her that she has come to desire,
A stunning scene that leaves both friends and foes to admire,
Still, in her heart there sparks an angry wild fire,
That grows and feeds upon those burning trees,
Her pyre.

I don’t know what the Queen has said,
But I would prefer you alive not dead.
Track Name: Stranger Song
It's true that all the men you knew were dealers
Who said they were through with dealing
Every time you gave them shelter
I know that kind of man
It's hard to hold the hand of anyone
Who is reaching for the sky just to surrender
Who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
You find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
That is so high and wild
He'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger.

And then leaning on your window sill
He'll say one day you caused his will
To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
An old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger.

But now another stranger seems
To want you to ignore his dreams
As though they were the burden of some other
O you've seen that man before
His golden arm dispatching cards
But now it's rusted from the elbows to the finger
And he wants to trade the game he plays for shelter
Yes he wants to trade the game he knows for shelter.

Ah you hate to see another tired man
Lay down his hand
Like he was giving up the holy game of poker
And while he talks his dreams to sleep
You notice there's a highway
That is curling up like smoke above his shoulder
It is curling just like smoke above his shoulder.

You tell him to come in sit down
But something makes you turn around
The door is open you can't close your shelter
You try the handle of the road
It opens do not be afraid
It's you my love, you who are the stranger
It's you my love, you who are the stranger.

Well, I've been waiting, I was sure
We'd meet between the trains we're waiting for
I think it's time to board another
Please understand, I never had a secret chart
To get me to the heart of this
Or any other matter
When he talks like this
You don't know what he's after
When he speaks like this,
You don't know what he's after.

Let's meet tomorrow if you choose
Upon the shore, beneath the bridge
That they are building on some endless river
Then he leaves the platform
For the sleeping car that's warm
You realize, he's only advertising one more shelter
And it comes to you, he never was a stranger
And you say ok the bridge or someplace later.

And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind
You find he did not leave you very much not even laughter
Like any dealer he was watching for the card
That is so high and wild
He'll never need to deal another
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger
He was just some Joseph looking for a manger.

And then leaning on your window sill
He'll say one day you caused his will
To weaken with your love and warmth and shelter
And then taking from his wallet
An old schedule of trains, he'll say
I told you when I came I was a stranger
I told you when I came I was a stranger.

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