Under the pseudonym Pêro Lua, Songwriter, Musician, Producer Pete Donnelly has written, played and recorded an album in its entirety, called Sobrecarga; “Overload” in Portuguese. It’s an exposition on relationships, affairs and overexposure. Largely, it’s story telling from a uniquely personal aspect, depicting the endangered romantic experience of those growingly disconnected. Lushly layered and yet raw in its execution Donnelly delivers poignant themes in his immediate, pop constructions.
The eight songs of Sobrecarga were written and mostly recorded within 2 weeks of June 2015. Using his Westmont Station Studio in Westmont NJ, outside of Philadelphia, Donnelly built the musical landscapes piece by piece. The opening track Wired Magnetic is modestly swinging, implying Sing Sing Sing on Quaaludes. It finds the narrator conflicted with the liberty he’s sanctioned in a partner. “Been up all night / Feeling like a wolf / Barking out of tune”. The genesis of this song is a mobile phone recording. The idea, sketched out on a child’s guitar, later brought into the studio and fleshed out. Affection, with it’s static groove, slowly mounting, depicts a demonic obsession during uncertain times; “Picking my way through / The maze of possibilities / For hours and hours” with a need to bear witness to the unknown realm of a lovers life. Face Without A Mouth, a country lilt, describes chillingly, the invasion of privacy, inherent in the Internet. “There’s a stranger in the house / Lurking all around / hiding in the crevasses of privacy unfound”. The cyber affair through the smart phone, where infidelity is no longer relegated to artifice and chicanery, but present all the time at the touch of a finger. Steady Ruth, a brooding and intricate pop ballad, compassionately chronicles the escapism needed by those seemingly stuck, making less than perfect decisions. “Late dreams socked away / Lay down that bouquet / F-I-N-D a perfect getaway”.
Donnelly’s fourth LP Sobrecarga, released on his Colonial Way label, is mostly mellow affair, using the palette of softer, jazz influenced cymbals and piano and other acoustic instruments. In contrast to the highly programmed, ultra regimented production styles of late, Donnelly, alternately, relies heavily on improvisation, rhythmic and melodic development, and linear musicianship. No loops or samples. No copied and pasted chorus’. Only music played from beginning to end.
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