Essential 2006: Elvis Perkins in Dearland Excerpts from "Ash Wednesday"
Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Without Love (mp3)
Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Ash Wednesday (mp3)
Elvis Perkins in Dearland - May Day (mp3)
(get one more via Dodge at MOKB)
Sometime yesterday, something clicked. Earlier in the day I was trying to find someone to go to see some band no one knows on a Monday night at the Mercury. And while convincing them that Elvis Perkins wouldn't be bad, I beleived it myself. In truth, I didn't really know.
Then I saw him and was convinced. Not WHAM convinced, but slowly over the course of the whole set. It was enough to make me listen to him on my way home, and that... that was where I was hooked.
The band was solid, far too good to be playing the first of four bands on a Monday night. Perkins himself has a voice 90% of the indie world dreams of having, and boy does he put it to use. He could have sang a medley of "Twinkle Twinkle/the ABCs/Ba Ba Black Sheep" and it would have been great. On stage he is a cross-breed of Clem Snide, Devin Davis, Colin Meloy, and maybe a little Alec Ounsworth. I throw out those names not to say that Elvis is a lesser version of them, but rather their peers, and maybe occassionally their superior. (Laugh now, but after you listen to "Ash Wednesday" a half dozen times, you'll see).
Obviously a song titled "It's a Sad World After All" is not going to be cheery, but even the more upbeat songs, "May Day" and "Without Love" are a bit sad. It's really on "Ash Wednesday" though that Perkins soars and dives with his voice. I'm not sure what the lyrics are, or what he's singing about, but it's so sad and beautiful, it's hard not to be moved.
Can you even buy his music? I don't even know. I guess they were selling demos at the show, but being dumb, I didn't snag up everything he had.
Elvis Perkins on myspace.
Elvis Perkins in Dearland on myspace.