DeZorah Brings The Music Of The Valley To Denton
For McAllen band Dezorah, it all goes back to the ocean. Their latest release Creando Azul is a compounding narrative that traverses various mental conditions through music, and The Dentonite had the pleasure of sitting down the five-part band as they toured through Denton in their current Texas-Louisiana tour.
The band, comprised of five members from all over Texas, have been together for several years now, but Creando Azul is the first EP that features all five standing personnel: founding duo guitarist Eric Martinez and vocalist Danica Salazar, in addition to drummer Trey Puga, bassist Daven Martinez and guitarist Jonathan Garza. Salazar is the main lyricist behind the band’s modest discography, and had this to say of their latest five song EP: “I write a lot about internal shit, so for this album, I wanted to create a narrative of feelings – of anxiety, of depression. I wanted to follow this narrative of a person going from the negative and turning it into something positive.” Salazar, who lives near South Padre, goes to the ocean to write. “I would go there and think about how those emotions would sound. The album is really about creating an ocean inside yourself.” The album cover is emblazoned with a red and blue seashore, and even the title – “Creating Blue” – points towards a shared goal to represent that darkest of human afflictions through the vehicle of music.
The band functions like a well-oiled machine, and all of the members interact like the oldest of friends. Each independent member brought their own touch to the album’s tracks, feeding off of Salazar’s lyrical content and in turn giving the songstress inspiration for new words. For the first track in the album, “In Weight,” the band took inspiration from The Song of Feeling from Majora’s Mask – that melody of healing seemed to resonate with DeZorah. “We work with overwhelming tones and textures. We’re metalheads at heart so it just makes sense to need that sort of edginess in our music,” guitarist Jonathan Garza said of the band’s influences and style. “There’s a lot of tension and release, like the ocean,” drummer Trey Puga added, and the conversation came full circle. The album stands as a testament to the band’s closeness and openness in talking about music and its relationship to the emotions.
Their performance at Dan's Silverleaf was electrifying; Danica's movements on stage were both sensual and powerful as she narrated the emotions of the album in full. The music was polyrhythmic, with frequently changing meters that each slid into the next. Puga, on drums, had said that one of the band's goals was to be expressive but not lose sense of rhythm - and certainly the beat wasn't lost.
Touring isn’t all that the band has been up to. The band was a contributing artist in the Wild Tongue collaborative album, a project recorded in Edinburgh, TX and funded by the Research Scholars Program at Stanford University. The project centers around musicians from the Valley, and aimed at giving a voice to female artists and artists of color, asking each participating band about a formative experience they had in the Rio Grande Valley. DeZorah, however, has a few members from elsewhere in the state, so their track “Las Semillas/The Seeds” focuses on growth and the inspiring community that exists in the Valley. The nine track album was released June 1st on bandcamp, and producer Jonathan Leal hopes that the work will encourage more personal exploration and artistic freedom in border communities. In words from the bandcamp, “With this project, we offer our own contribution – a musical reminder that while present hardships might feel endless, wild tongues will not be tamed.”
DeZorah enjoyed their short visit to Denton and looks forward to the completion of their tour through Louisiana and Texas. Find their music on Bandcamp and check out their Facebook page to find their music and upcoming performances.
Header image courtesy of DeZorah