Elvis Perkins Elvis Perkins in Dearland Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

He makes such ponderings into elegantly mournful country soul magic.

Ian Wade 2009

Elvis Perkins first came to prominence with his debut album Ash Wednesday in 2007. Son of Psycho actor Anthony Perkins and photographer Berry Berenson, most of the attention at the time was drawn not only to his background and but also his mother’s tragic death in 9/11. All this threatened to overshadow his music, yet somehow it managed to inform it. He was named ‘Elvis’ was because his dad was a Presley nut. I suspect he’s not the only one out there who has overcome the connotations of such a moniker.

After a solid year or so of touring, Perkins decided to form Elvis Perkins In Dearland with the multi-instrumentalists Brigham Brough, Wyndham Boylan-Garnett and Nick Kinsey that he’d been touring with. For the band’s debut, Perkins takes his sound into semi-joyous territories delighting and beguiling. Even something entitled Doomsday is turned into a brass-heavy knees-up.

In Dearland should hopefully grant Perkins and cohorts a wider audience. His voice resonates with the ancient quality of proper country. Few people manage to channel Hank Williams as effectively as Perkins does on the marvellous tuba-tooting Chains Chains Chains, or Send My Fond Regards To Lonelyville, which could’ve been written at any point in the last century.

Elvis Perkins In Dearland is a faster and fuller step on from Ash Wednesday. Perkins eloquently observes and explores the many variants of loneliness and despair, and with his chums, he makes such ponderings into elegantly mournful country soul magic.

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