The Blackcoats’s Daughter [OST]
Death Waltz Recording Company
In the mid/late 2000s Elvis Perkins made a couple of terrific singer/songwriter albums – he was part Paul Simon, part Van Morrison – but most importantly the biggest part of him was something other; was Elvis Perkins. He arrived on the scene back-loaded with back-story, his father was Anthony “Psycho” Perkins, his mother had died in 9/11. And his strummed maudlin was palpable, but his songs were not just deep and dark they were clever and hooky. Profound.
And though I love those records and return to them it wasn’t until recently that I found he is essential recast now – for the time being at least – as a film composer, and working too in/with theatre. He’s currently in New Zealand as part of a tremendous Arts Festival show.
And among his various projects is this – the soundtrack to a film made by his brother, Oz Perkins. Elvis has scored a couple of films by his brother but this – originally titled “February” and released in 2015 – has been renamed The Blackcoat’s Daughter, its score released as a standalone album.
You will hear his croon, you will hear scratching songs – but for the most part this is a creepy set of soundscapes, a touch of Haxan Cloak here, a bit of misery and doom and gloom elsewhere.
Take the cue His Majesty – a melody rising, slowly, from synths. Or Snow Graves which is reminiscent of beat-less Burial in passages.
Perkins sings on a strummy old ode near the start (In The Garden) and for the final piece (Outcantation – The Blackcoat’s Daughter). Both could pass as found murder ballad-type pieces, archived, it’s believable to think of them as dug up, certainly otherworldly. Around them a creepy, dark, deep, profoundly horrific set of horror soundscapes itches, twitches and slithers into shape, into sound, very nearly into sight.
He was once one of my favourite singer/songwriters – of a new era, I guess. Now he’s one of my favourite new film composers. Talented family. Great to see and hear from him again.
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