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How David Lynch Inspired El Sonida De Reposa's New Record

August brings a rare chance to see El Sonida De Reposa live.EXPAND
August brings a rare chance to see El Sonida De Reposa live.
Courtesy of Gerald Schoenherr
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El Sonida De Reposa’s record release show may or may not include records. Due to an increase in vinyl demand these last few years, manufacturing plants are booked solid, and quick turnarounds are not easily obtained.

The Valley band’s main man, Gerald Schoenherr, has worked in the music industry since the ’80s. And he isn’t letting it get to him. “We hope they’ll arrive in time,” he says. “But if not, we’ll play the show, including the songs from the record, and we’ll make presales available on our Bandcamp page.”

However you obtain it, the record will sound great, according to Schoenherr. “Back in January, we put out a lathe-cut 7-inch,” he says. He made just 50, and they sold out in 24 hours. “So, I got this brilliant idea to do another one with these Twin Peaks covers, but this time, instead of going lo-fi, we went hi-fi — it’s a 12-inch, 45-rpm record, one song per side.” One side is the entire band, and the other song features Schoenherr doing all the work.

You’ll hear “Pink Room” from the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and “Just You” from the David Lynch show’s second season. It’s fitting, as Schoenherr is a longtime Lynch devotee and considers him a “massive inspiration.”

Love for the Lynchian aesthetic is not at all surprising when you take an audio tour through the El Sonida De Reposa catalog. It’s music made by artists who have no desire to walk a beaten path. It plays like an open-ended journey, featuring a mishmash of noisy rock, dark country, and psychedelia. Southwestern gothic might be a good label. It’s the sonic equivalent of taking a wild and windy ride down a dark desert road — no matter what style it favors, it’s haunting, intense, and sometimes a little raucous.

El Sonida De Reposa has been around since 2010 but, Schoenherr says, “It’s never really been a band, it’s just been my studio project.” He’s an engineer at Flying Blanket Recording, and when there was spare studio time, he invited musicians to come and play his songs.

“I put out a record in 2013, all studio stuff that was never performed live. I decided I wanted to play one show, so I put together an actual band of my friends. That one show was supposed to be it, but people liked it, so we kept going.” Since that first show, his guitar player Nate Garrett got busy, so the band now has Ed Masley, the Republic’s pop music critic and frontman of The Breakup Society, on guitar.

Masley is excited to be on board. “I haven’t been in a group situation where I was a guitarist playing someone else’s songs since high school,” he says. “I was immediately intrigued with Gerald’s approach to writing. When I saw that first show at The Lost Leaf, he mentioned their guitarist was leaving and I said, ‘You know, I play guitar …’”

The rest of the band includes Bob Hoag on drums, Rachel Ludeman on bass, and Annemarie Sanchez on vocals and guitar. The team works well for Schoenherr. “I am going to try to keep this group of people together as long as I can,” he says. He plans to keep the live shows to a minimum.

“I’ve been writing and recording my own music since the ’80s, so it’s just a part of who I am; it’s what I do.”

El Sonida De Reposa are scheduled to perform at Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday, August 9. Tickets are $5 to $7 via crescentphx.com.

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