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CD Review: Sarah Perrotta

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Independent, 2008

I first heard the quixotic vocals of Sarah Perrotta through her work with the extinct outfit Outloud Dreamer, when she was known as Sarah Medenbach. The name has changed but the voice remains distinctively hers—smooth as vanilla pudding and lulling as warm liquid velvet, were there such a thing. In her current solo incarnation, she’s pulled together local luminaries Tony Levin, Erica Quitzow, Garth Hudson, David Temple, and other very competent players to help expand her repertoire of emotive, ethereal dream pop. A first spin of The Well may call to mind shades of Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs, though Perrotta remains completely original and exceedingly sophisticated in her writing (several tracks were co-written with former Dreamer Carl Adami). With Perrotta on piano, The  Well is brimming with upbeat, atmospheric textures and hopeful, fanciful lyrics; from the drifting rhythms of “Rooftops” (“I hear the raindrops coming down / and I roll under, I roll through, I roll right on into you”) to the pensive, bouncy cadence of “Fishes” (“All the flowers of May were asleep in the gray / All the fish in the sea were in love with me”). This is the stuff of dreams, and, like dreams, it’s never frivolous or boring. Dreams always leave us aroused by their strangeness, depth, and beauty, and that’s what Perrotta will be known for. www.myspace.com/sarahperrottaband.

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