By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
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Though the band is coming off a three-month hiatus, people in Denton should be quite familiar with Peopleodian by now. The band, after all, has performed around the region under its name for more than two years at this point. And, after the additions of lead singer Ally Hoffman in 2009 and guitarist Joe Cepeda Overman in 2010, their forthcoming album feels like it's been a long time in the making.
Because, well, it has been.
"I've been in a lot of bands," says James Washington, the band's Korg DS-10 composer and songwriter. "But this is the first time that it's been my vision from the start."
A few years back, Washington launched the project as an outlet for the musical ideas floating in his mind, with the aim of creating pop music with a film-score influence and soundscapes with themes of magical realism.
"I wanted to make electronic music that had nothing to do with dance music," Washington says. "I was approaching it more for the sound."
The addition of drummer Chris Bryan was almost immediate, although it wasn't originally a part of Washington's plan.
"He didn't initially envision it to have drums," Bryan says. "But the addition of drums is what made it what it is. The tracks without them are ethereal. With them, it makes us kind of a rock band or pop band."
Hoffman was picked up along the way after the band's first singer didn't work out. Overman came on board as a self-proclaimed "big fan," adding his flair for making his guitar sound like a synthesizer to the band's repertoire.
With the lineup finally in place last fall, the group set out to play as many shows as possible, perfecting their live performance with repeated practice in front of crowds.
"For a while," Hoffman says, "shows were our rehearsals."
A three-month stay in Germany for Overman, though, put the band's momentum on hold. But, since his return to town for 35 Conferette in March, the band has gotten back on track. A month of rehearsals and a Nintendo DS being added into the mix later, and the band says they've now stumbled onto a much fuller sound, one informed by their newfound recording experience.
"Recording taught us how to deconstruct everything instead of playing what you wrote and just sticking to that," Overman says.
With the album, entitled It Woke the Moon!, entirely recorded and currently in its mixing and mastering phase, the band's circled the summer months for a probable release date. Until then, Peoplelodian plan on fleshing out new material and focusing on scheduling some out-of-town gigs.