It’s the way a road trip playlist should vibe, with a beginning a middle and an end. One song flows right into the next, deceiving the ear as to when one ends and where the next begins. Pistolera’s El Desierto y La Ciudad is a double-sided musical cocktail of rock, Latin, dance, polka and interludes that amplifies Pistolera’s signature cumbia and rancheras mix. It’s the third studio album of New York band, Pistolera, and without a doubt, a first of this kind for the quartet. The album, out July 12, comes alive with vibrant sounds of The Big Apple and with echoes that reflect the oceanic openness of the desert skies.
According to Sandra Velasquez, frontwoman to the band, the end result was more than intentional with every detail meticulously looked at. As she tells us, with El Desierto y La Ciudad Pistolera shares their path of exploration and hopes to not only serve as soundtrack to your summer road trip, but to get on the silver screen as well.
Sandra Velasquez: El Desierto y La Ciudad is like the soundtrack to a person’s journey from the desert into the city. You can hear sounds of the desert like the howling of the wind and the immense silence, as well as recordings of me walking through the city’s subway and actually going through the turnstiles. This album is about that: about staying true to the journey, so it was important to capture those sounds and incorporate them into the songs.
I took a series of trips to Baja California, Arizona and the Mojave Desert and really felt the pull of it. As much as I love New York, after all this is where I live and where Pistolera has thrived as a band, I felt the need to go somewhere opposite to the city. The desert is this huge, quiet and empty space where there are no people, and NYC is never that way. So this album follows the concept of a journey and was also structured with that road trip in mind.
Everything from recording ambiance noise to the structure of the songs is relevant to the album’s concept. We played with the order of the songs to create the right vibe for the musical journey. One side is horn heavy and the other is guitar driven. On the songs that are inspired by the city, we incorporated the horn section from La Excelencia, a salsa band from New York with a big urban feel to them. And with the desert songs we did a lot of layering of guitars and effects, and even laid out the accordion in different ways to capture a variation of sounds.
We want people to know us for more than what they currently do. Our first two albums were more of a Volume 1 and Volume 2 series in the sense that they had the same vibe to them, so with this release we want to show that there’s more to us than cumbias and rancheras. We also have the instrumental versions of the songs just in case they can be used in a film or on television. We would love to get into that industry as well and this album certainly has that potential, it’s just a matter of getting them into the right hands (SV).
Preview “El Desierto y La Ciudad” here until you grab your copy of it come July 12. Also, check out Pistolera on the road at one of their various gigs like their The Mint showcase alongside LA faves La Santa Cecilia.
video uploaded by: pistoleramusic
More info here.
07.16.11 to 07.17.11 - California World Fest - Grass Valley, CA
07.18.11 – Elbo Room – San Francisco, CA (w/ DJ Santero and El Kool Kyle)
07.19.11 – Moe’s Alley - Santa Cruz, CA [Doors 8pm, Show 8:30] Tickets are now on sale. $7 in advance, $10 day of.
07.20.11 – Zoey’s - Ventura,
07.21.11 – The Mint - Los Angeles, CA (w/ La Santa Cecilia!)
07.22.11 - El Centro Cultural de La Raza - San Diego, CA (w/ special appearance by Mujeres en Resistencia)
07.23.11 – Solar Culture - Tucson, AZ
07.25.11 – National Hispanic Cultural Center - Albuquerque, NM (w/ Rupa and April Fishes, Also Sandra’s 35th Birthday!)
07.29.11 – DROM - New York, NY (Hometown CD release for third album, El Desierto Y La Ciudad. New York based Brazilian fusion band Nation Beat shares the night.)
08.05.11 – Cafe Nine - New Haven, CT
08.12.11 – Artisphere - Arlington, VA
11.04.11 – Latino Arts - Milwaukee, WI
11.06.11 – Mayne Stage - Chicago, IL