Elvis Perkins: Ash Wednesday (XL/Rhythmethod)

 |   |  <1 min read

Elvis Perkins: All The Night Without Love
Elvis Perkins: Ash Wednesday (XL/Rhythmethod)

A publisher once told me that if I wanted to write a successful book I should put the word "Elvis" in the title.

I said my next book would be called "Elvis in the Title".

It's an odd fact though that the very word commands attention, whether it be the singer Elvis Phuong in Vietnam (who does MOR Beatles covers actually) or the various churches of Elvis.

Served Declan McManus (Mr Costello) pretty well too.

So Mr Perkins of LA -- his dad was the actor Anthony, his mum actress and photographer Berry Berenson -- gets a head start by his very choice of name.

He keeps your attention however because this musically loose-limbed, lowkey but luminously easy, and quiet grower of an album in places falls somewhere between a more folksy Astral Weeks and an alt.country-flavoured Waterboys.

Perkins' voice can be a fragile affair (so don't expect the tenor and melodic strength of Van the Man if that Astral Weeks reference got you sitting up) but it is more than adequate to get deep inside these literate lyrics and find nuances to make the melodies (some half suggested) quite memorable.

From the title track (about 9/11, and which recalls early Leonard Cohen with a country fiddle) to the almost hymnal and minimalist closer Good Friday, there are subtle layers of music and lyrics here to be explored and enjoyed over time.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Various Artists: Loop Select Mixtape (Loop)

Various Artists: Loop Select Mixtape (Loop)

Free music is always a good thing and the very fine people at Loop in Auckland have once again offered a free downlaod of a mixtape collection Here's the tracklisting: 01. Bottom Line... > Read more

Kimbra: The Golden Echo (Warners)

Kimbra: The Golden Echo (Warners)

When Kimbra appeared at this year's Womad in Taranaki I observed at the time it allowed her to roadtest new material away from the prying eyes of the international -- and even local -- music media.... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

LEE SCRATCH PERRY IN THE 90s: Getting dub'n'reggae through time tuff

LEE SCRATCH PERRY IN THE 90s: Getting dub'n'reggae through time tuff

By the early 90s - a decade on from the death of Bob Marley - the consciousness reggae movement he headed was floundering internationally. In New Zealand, where reggae is one of the bloodlines, it... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . YOKO ONO: The noises from within

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . YOKO ONO: The noises from within

Yoko is a concept by which we measure our pain -- New York graffiti, 1970. A voice that comes once in a lifetime; unfortunately it came in ours -- Critic Jim Mullen, 1992... > Read more