#25 on the 2009 Musical Advent Calendar
Elvis Perkins in Dearland by Elvis Perkins in Dearland
Life has dealt Elvis Perkins some very difficult cards. His father is Anthony Perkins — Norman Bates from Psycho — who died at 60 of AIDS complications. His mother is Berry Berenson, the photographer, who was on American Airlines Flight 11 on 9/11. That’s some pretty heavy shit to have to deal with. Amazingly, while these facts are more than enough for one person to have suffer through, they don’t define Elvis and his band’s music. Elvis Perkins in Dearland, the album, is technically a debut for the band of the same name. But before this album, Elvis did release a fantastic solo album, Ash Wednesday, that was started before his mother’s death and consequently completed some many years afterwards. I recommend it.
But at the end of the day, the full band is where it’s at. The video above, for the song “Chains, Chains, Chains,” features a typical song for the album — a folky, string and horn laden thing of beauty. And Elvis’s voice, floating above everything in some ethereal kind of way, is quite buttery. Yeah, that’s right: ethereal butteriness. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but if you listen to the album you’ll feel the same way, trust me.
While I haven’t listened to this album a lot since it came out in March of this year, I do tend to come back to it on the greyer days. One has to have a large selection of grey-day albums when living in Seattle. Make sure you add it to your list, too.