El Desierto y La Ciudad, the third studio album by the highly regarded New York City–based Pistolera, represents a daring departure from the band’s previous releases—conceptually, musically, lyrically, and spiritually. Mexican-American band leader and songwriter Sandra Velasquez, whose previous two albums have slyly hinted at her full artistic vision, now displays the wide scope of her songwriting capabilities and a willingness to push her band’s sound beyond the dance floor.
The CD was designed as a throwback to the days when albums were conceived of as complete works of art and appreciated in their entirety.
“I’m a bit nostalgic,” Velasquez says. “I remember the days when people listened to albums from beginning to end and were rewarded for the experience.”
Velasquez says she created El Desierto y La Ciudad with distinct “A” and “B” sides. As she describes it, “This CD is a travelogue of emotions. The A side places us in thoughtful solitude in a vast desert, where dreams are formed. The B side then transports us to the hustle and bustle of the New York City streetscape, where dreams are fulfilled.”
El Desierto y La Ciudad’s rich sonic palette encompasses rock, Latin, dance, and balladic styles, with evocative lyrics and musical interludes that capture the spirit of the two very different landscapes. It finds the band traveling to new musical destinations, where polkas cohabit with cumbias, waltzes are smitten with dancehall, ballads find refuge in electronica, and rumbas head to the dance floor hand in hand with tejano rhythms. Longtime Pistolera fans will be surprised and delighted by El Desierto y La Ciudad. New followers will discover a vital new musical presence. Everyone will hear new details in each song, every time.