Sarah La Puerta ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸ ⫸
Sarah La Puerta is an artist, musician, and calligrapher who works in different dimensions. She was born in New Orleans, raised in Texas and now lives in rural upstate New York. Her favorite tree is the weeping willow, and her favorite flowers are water lilies.
Perpetual Doom is proud to present the debut album from Sarah La Puerta: Strange Paradise. Begun on a dead-end street in Austin, TX and finished in a barn in upstate New York, this collection of original songs emerges from the inbetween places of the mind and heart, grounded by autobiographical truth that resonates with the force of myth.
Built around the gentle pulse of a Baldwin Fun Machine, a midcentury organ and synthesizer, each track revels in uncanny sounds that call on a world gone by. Swirling in the background are traces of Mexican boleros, Bulgarian choral music, and the melodic sensibilities of Old Bollywood. But even as La Puerta’s musical textures drift off into warm nostalgia, her words cut right to the present. On the opener, “A Gun,” she sings: “That’s why I’m buying a gun: I’d like to have some fun, now while the chips are down.” A peculiar levity throughout offers a distinct counterpoint to the ever-present themes of memory, desire and grief. Sarah La Puerta weaves between them in swaying arrangements that foreground her careful sense of melody and ascendant voice.
Moving through the haze of memory and forgotten landscapes, these songs insist on living in the imperfect present—seeing each moment as a kind of paradise. “In the deepest misery, a speck of joy,” she sings on “The Ballad of Twin Towers,” a song that fixates on the violently transformed skyline of New York City as an allegory of devastation and renewal. At other moments, she draws inspiration from the urban desolation of Coney Island, the life of Houdini, and the idealized eternity of palms in tropic breeze. This paradise is vast.
This set of songs was composed and recorded mostly at home by La Puerta between 2015-2020 as she moved around Texas and ultimately settled in New York. The rest was recorded at the studio of Craig Ross, who mixed, played on, and produced the album. Yet for all the time and space it covers, it seeks meaning in the delicate here and now. “To call it evergreen leaves no in between,” La Puerta sings on “Pommes de Pin,” “Me, I’ve never seen something last.” Strange Paradise offers elegant consolation for living with that fragility.
Digital and Cassette Release Date: November 12, 2021
Vinyl Release Date: April 22, 2022
Purchase from Bandcamp