"This is not bar band music," Fernando Perdomo says emphatically of Dreaming in Stereo 2, the follow-up to the band's remarkable 2009 self-titled debut. Like its predecessor, the new album takes its cue from a distinctly '70s sound, one that melds the orchestral style of the Moody Blues with the drama and daring of early ELO.
Released on Perdomo's own Forward Motion Records imprint, Dreaming in Stereo 2 joins recent offerings from an ever-growing list of artists that Perdomo personally tapped for the roster.
It's also the latest product of an ambitious musical venture, one that's taking Perdomo and other members of his collective from a recent gig at New York's famed Living Room club to a showcase spotlight at South by Southwest.
Few other outfits in our local environs show such imaginative inclinations, and indeed the band's sophomore set takes that adventurous attitude to new heights. The album's draped in an ethereal orchestral sheen captured by shimmering lead guitars, synths, mellotrons, and a full chorus of angelic harmonies. Perdomo writes the bulk of the material, but in a sense this is a more integrated effort than before, with keyboardist and co-vocalist Marisol Garcia, viola player Dave Torre, drummer Eddie Zyne, and bassist Vincent Cuevas stamping their individual imprints on the music's lavish sonic textures.
As he insinuated at the outset, Perdomo admits there's a challenge in reproducing this music live. But if anything, that ought to make the February 20 CD-release party an intriguing proposition. After all, this isn't exactly a basic batch of songs. The determined surge of opening track "Fill My Sky," the billowy ballad "Part of Your Life," and the drift and lilt of "Summer Is Gone" all attest to the album's sophisticated sound. That makes Perdomo's insights especially intriguing.
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"Enough's Enough was written after attending an Enuf Z'Nuff concert," he recalls. "When I didn't have a chorus, I sang the name of the band." He claims that the title of "There's Music All Around Me" was inspired by actor Dudley Moore's last words, "according to Wikipedia." And he notes, the lyrics to "Gonna Sleep Until Tomorrow" were written via text message.
Regardless of their origins, the material that makes up the bulk of Dreaming in Stereo 2 allows for a fascinating aural encounter. It's no exaggeration to say this music man has minted another masterpiece.
Dreaming in Stereo album release party. Sunday, February 20. The Stage, 170 NE 38th St., Miami. Doors open at 9 p.m. Visit facebook.com/thestagemiami.