Always one to mix the robust melodies of powerpop with soft adult contemporary, Fernando Perdomo replaces powerpop with the sweeping elements of orchestral acoustic pop on his new EP, Home is Wherever You Are, released yesterday. After relocating to Los Angeles this year, the longtime Miami staple delivers two new originals and four re-worked tracks of songs Perdomo originally released with his band Dreaming in Stereo.
“In a World Without You”, one of the two new songs, is a condensed two-minute ballad with a Burt Bacharach-like arrangement. The EP’s other original, “Andrea’s Fault”, is composed alluringly with a charming string section backing Perdomo’s thin baritone, which, here, moves a lot like Elvis Costello’s. The EP’s four revised Dreaming in Stereo originals have been stripped of their powerpop façade and arranged either acoustically lush (“Lazy” and “Fill My Sky”) or subtly grand (“Home” and “Smile”).
To learn more about Home is Wherever You Are, visit Perdomo’s website. You can also watch the video for “Smile” after the jump.
Fernando Perdomo — Dreaming In Stereo band member, Forward Motion Records label boss, and a damn good guitarist — is leaving Miami for Reseda, Cali., a suburb of Los Angeles. An artist leaving Miami for a bigger market is nothing new, but this particular departure is noteworthy because Perdomo has been a steadfast advocate for a certain slice of the Miami music scene (basically, poppy rock and roll), going as far as to write the song “I’m Not Going To Move To LA” several years ago. Alas, the defiant ditty did not hold true. Perdomo is not “staying right here”, though, as he told the Miami New Times, he intends to rep his hometown out west: “… I hope everyone knows that I will now be [a] soldier [for] the scene and will find every possible way to make South Florida music global. 305 till I die …” Bon voyage, Fernando.
Miami's Dreaming in Stereo (from left to right): Dave Torre, Marisol Garcia, Fernando Perdomo, Eddie Zyne, and Vincent Cuevas.
Fernando Perdomo has always worn his pop-bleeding heart on his sleeve. His band Dreaming in Stereo is as much a tribute to pop rock as it is a workshop for contributing to the canon. With the band’s upcoming release, Dreaming in Stereo 2 (due out Feb. 15th), Perdomo and company continue to mine the pop vein with Perdomo’s flawless guitar work lighting the way.
For the uninitiated, Perdomo’s music nods unapologetically to cult pop bands like The Posies and Jellyfish, who themselves drew heavily on even earlier pop-rock bands like The Byrds, Big Star, and The Move — all simple sounding music with complicated infrastructures. Perdomo is also quite vocal about his admiration for singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren. (I hear the influence on Perdomo mainly in Rundgren’s first three albums from the early 70s).
To my ear, DiS 2’s nearest relative is Jellyfish’s 1990 Bellybutton, with its bittersweet melodies that seamlessly alternate between major and minor moods within complex arrangements. And while, as a whole, Dreaming In Stereo’s upcoming album does not attain Bellybutton’s catchiness, it does show the band has the talent to get there.