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

Rolf Lislevand: Nuova Musiche (ECM New Series)

Rolf Lislevand: Nuova Musiche (ECM New Series)

The clue here is the record label, this is on a long-running subsidiary imprint within the famous ECM jazz label which is specifically for classical music, although not "classical music"... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

Oliver Mtukudzi: Wonai (Elite)

Known as "Tuku" after the style of music he created, singer-guitarist Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe battles the usual problem that musicians from Africa face: if Peter Gabriel isn't behind you... > Read more

Te Vaka: Amataga/The Beginning (Border)

Te Vaka: Amataga/The Beginning (Border)

Now billed in small print as Opetaia's Te Vaka – after their leader, singer and songwriter Opetaia Foa'i – this expat pan-Pacific group with roots in Tuvalu, Samoa, Tokelau and the... > Read more