Elvis Perkins, Elvis Perkins In Dearland (2009)
Ash Wednesday was one of the nice-surprise finds of 2007 for me, reviewing. It arrived one day. I can’t even say that it looked interesting. But I played it. And liked it. When that happens you play albums again and again and you end up liking them more (if you’re lucky) or (more often) realising that it was (actually) nothing special. I still go back to Ash Wednesday – it’s really haunting, effective and affecting. I think Elvis Perkins is a great writer – something the music world always needs. So when second album, Elvis Perkins In Dearland, arrived I picked up a vinyl copy. It’s a very different record from Ash Wednesday, something Perkins worked at. He didn’t want the singer/songwriter tag so he called the band Elvis Perkins In Dearland as well as the album. And made this more about the band. Or at least tried to. Perkins has a great way with a line (“black is the colour of a strangled rainbow”) but where Ash Wednesday was the plaintive singer/songwriter album – the kind that can (and seemingly did) get lost – In Dearland doe have the bigger band sound, more rounded. It’s still a form of folk-influenced pop/rock but there’s far more of a groove attached. I also got very attached to this record learning to play the harmonica part to the opening cut, Shampoo. It’s a great bit of fun trying to play it and the drums at the same time. I doubt I’ve ever really been successful at it, beyond having some fun. But that hasn’t stopped me. I hope Perkins and/or Elvis Perkins In Dearland continue to release records. But he’s two from two for me. I rate him – bigtime.
Sample Track: Shampoo
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