The retro percussive synthpop duo, Bero Bero, featuring vocalist/keyboardist Veronica Garcia-Melendez and drummer Dave Murray, just released a brand new four song EP on House of Strut Records, and are celebrating with a launch party at the Jinx before they strike out on tour. Bero Bero’s latest EP is called “Dance” because it is a bit of a departure from their previous releases which leaned more heavily on a ‘90s influenced sultry, trip-hop sound.
“That was the vibe,” said Garcia-Melendez. “Because I guess our live performances are higher energy even on those songs from the other EPs, it comes off stronger or more energized live, so people would say, ‘I didn’t expect you guys to be like that.’ They thought we were really mellow. So they would see us live and have a lot of energy on stage. We thought, ‘Oh, let’s try on this third recording to really get some more of that energy.’ That was the goal there.”
DANCE by Bero Bero
It wasn’t just fans that were reacting to Bero Bero’s fiery live performances—the band noticed that repeat gigs were easier to come by if they got the crowd dancing. “We’ve been getting a better reaction from venues with the more uptempo numbers,” said Murray. “We’ve noticed that we’ve been getting invited back to places a lot more when we keep it dancier, so we set out to make a dance album and this is what came of it. We’ve been playing these songs out for awhile, tweaking them here and there, and it finally all came together in the studio with Peter Mavrogeorgis at Dollhouse Productions in Atlanta.”
Bero Bero had worked with Mavrogeorgis before on their previous EPs and as session musicians on other projects. Their familiarity with each other made it easier to find the new sounds they were looking for. “We know Peter pretty well and have a great working relationship with him,” said Garcia-Melendez. “We all like to bounce ideas off each other and we’re just a good team.”
“We discussed a lot with Peter how we wanted the mix to sound,” Garcia-Melendez continued. “I think our previous EPs were a more sexy, moody, darker sound and we wanted this one to be brighter.”
One way Bero Bero were able to capture the energy of their live shows was to do some live tracking in the studio as opposed to overdubs. “We recorded live percussion and drums in the room together to try to give it a more full sound, as well, so that it didn’t sound as robotic and chopped up, to give it feel of when we’re actually playing live, to reproduce that,” Murray explained.
One of the stand out tracks on the record is the shimmery ‘80s strut, “Pop Song,” which the band had the most difficultly perfecting.
“That one took a while for me to like that song,” admitted Garcia-Melendez. “David came up with the lyric, it’s a pop song about love, so I had to write a song about that. It started out with a lyric and not a melody, so it was tricky for me to write music that fit that lyric. We had the wrong tempo or we had the wrong form. We would play it live and then go back to the drawing board each time until we finally felt like we got it.”
“Then Peter put guitar on it and that really finalized it” added Murray. “We’re looking forward to this Friday and playing that song live comfortably for the first time.”
Along with the “Dance” EP, Bero Bero shot a music video for the song “Pieces of Hurt” with director Brittin Richter, and plan to collaborate with rapper Dope KNIfe on a future trip-hop project. Dope KNIfe and Charleston dance-pop group 2 Slices are opening for Bero Bero.
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