Ever since Elvis Perkins started putting out records in 2006, he's developed a reputation as a magnetic, commanding performer. Perkins writes lyrics that slither between surreal, dreamlike imagery and surprising emotional directness as they gather intensity. "While You Were Sleeping," from Perkins' debut album Ash Wednesday, tiptoes along a hypnotic guitar pattern for six and a half minutes without ever quite landing on a clear melody. On record, his band's live-sounding, mostly acoustic songs are full of energy, yet feel like they're carrying a weight.
You wouldn't blame Elvis Perkins for standing out in the storm. His father, actor Anthony Perkins, died of complications from AIDS in 1992, and his mother was aboard one of the hijacked planes that crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. But Perkins' songs suggest that he's not dwelling on the tragedies in his life, even if he can't quite outrun them. In "Doomsday," from the new Elvis Perkins in Dearland, he sings, "Man, I went wild last night... / I don't let doomsday bother me / Do you let it bother you?"
After spending the spring touring in support of the new record, Elvis Perkins in Dearland will head to Europe for September.
"I Heard Your Voice in Dresden"
"Chains, Chains, Chains"
"Hour's Last Stand"
"I'll Be Arriving"
"Stop, Drop, Rock and Roll"
"Stay Zombie Stay"
"Four Strong Winds"
"Old Ship of Zion" (with Tim Eriksen)
"While You Were Sleeping"