Monday, 2 February 2009

Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Elvis Perkins in Dearland (XL 2009)

Elvis Perkins' eponymous second album adds a layer of instrumentation with the recruitment of a full band and with the added layers of swaying and plucking comes a distraught mediation on death and grief, imbued with melancholy. Elvis sounds like an old soul with his old soul voice, crooning and splaying with the heart and passion of Louis Armstrong and the emotion of Marvin Gaye. Meanwhile in the background, a throb of saxophone and double bass adds a slight free-jazz buzz to proceedings, while the other multi-instrumentalists add in delicate tweeks of harmonium and auto-harp as well as the seemingly more generic guitar and drums. The album is full of intricate arrangements that belie the pretensions of modern songcraft. 'I Heard Your Voice' in Dresden carries through different moods and movements like an opera. This is a strong soft and sometimes quietly boisterous album, filled with emotive soundscapes evoking the loss and pain of love and mourning. Beautiful.

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