Monday, August 17, 2009

New Elvis Perkins EP

I had lunch with Stu LeBlanc the other day, and of course we got to talking about music and which albums have really stood out this year. And for both of us, Elvis Perkins In Dearland is unquestionably right at the top. I'm sure it's been my most consistently played new album of this year (yes, beating even Wilco and Dylan) since I saw the band and picked up the CD back in March.

Stu called it a songwriting clinic, and I have to agree. As I wrote before, it's a "dynamic album, with far-flung instrumentation and a jaunty sound overall."

And now the song that has struck both Stu and me the most, "Doomsday," is the centerpiece of a new EP. Here's what Elvis Perkins has to say about it:
"We call this thing The Doomsday EP for obvious reasons, and its middle name to which it also answers is The EP of the Id. Being drawn to the many faces of the American strain it seems we have more or less subconsciously produced a collection speaking to/and or from several of them at once. It's a document of impulses sleeping egos and their superiors let pass to tape.

I myself didn't know what these songs sounded like in the hands of EPID until they were processed and played back. You have a song that arrived like the rest of us by boat, a selection from the Sacred Harp, a rock 'n roll heralding the eternal advent of rock 'n roll, an ode to the soul of the undead and, finally (and firstly), two takes on a single song called Doomsday, one which comes from our March release and the other which leans in the direction of its original conception as something of a gospel number .

And here they all are, risen from their cribs and graves, under one moonlight while their folks and undertakers look the other way." - Elvis Perkins
That's one hell of an introduction, and this slowed down version of "Doomsday" is amazing. It reminds me of the relaxes, stripped-down version of "Mississippi" from Bob Dylan's latest Bootleg Series album. It's become so completely different that it's a new song. And I don't think I could pick between the two versions.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Slow Doomsday

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